Navigation Links
New iPod listening study shows surprising behavior of teens

A new study involving iPods and teenagers by the University of Colorado at Boulder and Children's Hospital Boston indicates teenagers who receive pressure from their peers or others to turn down the volume of their iPods instead turn them up higher.

The study also showed that teen boys listen louder than teen girls, and teens who express the most concern about the risk for and severity of hearing loss from iPods actually play their music at higher levels than their peers, said CU-Boulder audiologist and doctoral candidate Cory Portnuff, who headed up the study. Such behaviors put teens at an increased risk of music-induced hearing loss, he said.

The results of the study, conducted by Portnuff and Associate Professor Kathryn Arehart of CU-Boulder's speech, language and hearing sciences department and Brian Fligor, director of diagnostic audiology at Children's Hospital Boston, were presented at the annual Hearing Conservation Conference held in Atlanta last week. Children's Hospital Boston is the teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Other findings from the study indicated teens play their music louder than young adults, and teens may inaccurately perceive how loud they are playing their music. The good news, said Portnuff, is that teens in the study who understand the benefits of listening at a lower volume have less of a risk for hearing loss.

"We really don't a have good explanation for why teens concerned about the hearing loss risk actually play their music louder than others," he said. "But we do know that teens who knew what the benefits were of listening at lower levels had less hearing loss risk, which is why we believe targeted education is the key."

Portnuff said the new study indicated a relatively small percentage of teens -- somewhere between 7 and 24 percent -- listen to their iPods and MP3 players at risky levels. "We don't seem to be at an epidemic level for hearing loss from music players," Portnuff said.

The new findings regarding the sound volumes selected by music-playing teens today are similar to findings 20 years ago when Walkman audio cassette players first came onto the market, Portnuff said. "One of the concerns we have today is that while Walkmans back then operated on AA batteries that usually began to run down after several hours, teenagers today can listen to their iPods for up to 20 hours without recharging them."

A 2006 study by Portnuff and Fligor indicated a typical person can safely listen to an iPod for 4.6 hours per day at 70 percent volume using stock earphones. But listening to music at full volume for more than five minutes a day using stock earphones increased the risk of hearing loss in a typical person, according to the study.

The 2006 study also concluded that individuals can safely listen to iPods for 90 minutes a day with stock earphones if the volume is at 80 percent of maximum levels without greatly increasing the risk of hearing loss, he said.

Loud music can potentially damage delicate hair cells in the inner ear that convert mechanical vibrations, or sound, to electrical signals that the brain interprets as sound, said Portnuff. "Over time, the hair cells can become permanently damaged and no longer work, producing hearing loss."

Everyone does not share the same risk of hearing loss, he said. Some people are born with "tougher ears" that allow them to listen to music relatively safely for longer periods. In contrast, those with "tender ears" may suffer ear damage even if they follow MP3 listening recommendations. "There is really no way of knowing which people are more prone to damage from listening to music," he said.

"Damage to hearing occurs when a person is exposed to loud sounds over time," said Portnuff. "The risk of hearing loss increases as sound is played louder and louder for long durations, so knowing the levels one is listening to music at, and for how long, is extremely important." The new study included about 30 volunteers from the Denver-Boulder area.


Contact: Cory Portnuff
University of Colorado at Boulder

Related medicine news :

1. Listening to the urinary stream
2. Carnegie Mellon study shows just listening to cell phones significantly impairs drivers
3. Study calls for increased research in flu transmission to prepare for pandemic flu outbreak
4. Statins Pay Off on a Health-Policy Level, UCSF Study Finds
5. Major study on DiagnoCures GCC biomarker published in Jama
6. Dosing Begins in Phase 1 Clinical Study Evaluating NKTR-105 in Cancer Patients With Refractory Solid Tumors
7. Newly Published Menopause Study: Bioidentical and FDA-Approved Divigel(R) (estradiol gel) 0.1 Percent Safe and Effective Treatment for Moderate to Severe Hot Flashes Associated With Menopause
8. New Study Shares Benchmarks for Medical Science Liaisons: Gaining Access and Forging Relationships with Key Opinion Leaders
9. Study finds that using wakefulness tests to detect daytime sleepiness in drivers may be unreliable
10. Study finds behavioral link between insomnia and tension-type headaches
11. IMPACT Study Demonstrates That Longer Prophylactic Therapy With Valcyte(R) (Valganciclovir Hydrochloride Tablets) Increases Protection Against CMV - the Most Serious Viral Infection Affecting Transplant Patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition has announced the launch of ... (MSA) research, timed today to coincide with Giving Tuesday 2015, a global day of ... to work and be productive, to do simple daily activities like walking to the ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ME (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... Royal ... reports a new study that found post-menopausal women who took the nutritional supplement creatine, ... than women who trained but did not take creatine. , The report is part ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... Fla. (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... number of leadless pacemakers in the U.S. and is the only hospital in ... from the largest clinical data presentation of transcatheter pacing patients were revealed recently ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... December 1, ... expansion of the company’s growing product line of food safety and seafood fraud ... Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) – allow InstantLabs to offer fast, reliable species identification for ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Diabetic ... United States. Podiatrists are well aware that psychology-based patient non-compliance (disobedience of a ... catastrophic contributors to diseases of the diabetic foot. The American Board of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... 1, 2015   MabVax Therapeutics Holdings, Inc . ... it has filed an Investigational New Drug Application (IND) ... the Company,s lead fully human antibody product HuMab 5B1 ... plans to initiate the Phase I clinical trial early ... --> The planned Phase I trial will evaluate ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 1, 2015   Craneware, Inc ... cycle solutions, today announced the company will showcase ... ChargeLink ® solution at the American ... Clinical Meeting . The new features are focused ... of monitoring and managing enterprise-wide pharmacy charges to ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , Dec. 01, 2015 ... of the "Medical Alert Systems/Personal Emergency Response ... by Geography - Global Forecas" report to ... announced the addition of the "Medical Alert ... by End-User and by Geography - Global Forecas" ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: