Sunday, May 27, 2007

Health Tip: Turn Down the Music

(HealthDay News) -- The next time you're tempted to crank up the stereo, you'd be wise to note the link between sound volume and hearing loss.

Scientists measure the levels of different sounds with a unit called the A-weighted decibel (dBA), according to Health Canada.

Here's how different volumes can affect hearing:
Sounds with levels below 70 dBA pose no known risk of hearing loss, no matter how long they last. Listening to music at this volume is about the same as what you'd experience driving a four-door family car on the highway with the windows closed.

With sound levels above 70 dBA, the duration of daily exposure becomes an important risk factor. For example, sounds measuring 85 dBA pose no risk of hearing loss if you are exposed for no longer than 45 minutes a day. But music at that volume poses more and more of a risk the longer it's listened to.

Reduce your risk of hearing loss by:
Keeping the sound at enjoyable but safe levels. If someone a yard away must shout to be understood, your music is probably too loud.

Using other methods of making the music sound better. For example, you could turn down the volume while increasing the bass slightly.

Limiting the amount of time you spend listening to loud music.

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