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How can I listen to music without hurting my ears?

If listening to music is hurting your ears, then it should be turned down. If you are unable to turn down the music, the use of foam earplugs can help reduce the noise. If earphones cause the pain, then you can switch to headphones to reduce the pain.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Beyonce blaring at the gym. Kelly Clarkson crankin’ while you jog. The Cars grooving on the freeway. In all of these scenarios, it's a good idea to protect your hearing from loud music -- even when wearing headphones. In fact, wherever you use earbuds, we want you to remember to turn down the volume to, at most, 60% of max volume. You’ll still be able to enjoy the sounds of Nora Jones 60 years from now, but without a hearing aid.

Turns out your iPod can pump out over 100 decibels, so don't let your earbuds cause hearing loss. To keep working perfectly the delicate hair cells in your inner ear that transmit sound impulses to the brain, dial down the volume so you can hear conversation (e.g., the lovely sounds of your kids or sweetheart) around you, too.

These days the latest devices are built to let you groove to the tunes for hours at a time. Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can injure your hair cells and make Nora seem un-hearable. Furthermore, any sound (think a rock concert or Harley-Davidson) that hits 120 to 150 decibels may inflict immediate harm.

Set the volume so you are still tuned in to what’s going on around you (75 decibels, tops) and so other people can't hear what’s playing. If you keep it in that easy-listening range, chances are you’ll be able to hear the Dr. Oz show for 40 more years (even if 10 of those are reruns).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.