In the News...Your Ears Will Thank You!

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In the News...Your Ears Will Thank You!

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Today's iPods are the neotechnological version of the now ancient Sony Walkman. Both are compact, both provide personal listening experience, but there they differ. The iPod product by Apple uses digital technology to create a nearly flawless sound, undistorted at any decibel level. It also employs earbuds—essentially an in-ear version of the older headphones.

This, however, has experts worried.

An article by Joel Selvin explains that the dangers of too much music at too loud a decibel level have become a concern as the quality in personal listening devices have advanced (San Francisco Chronicle , "Play It Loud, and You May Pay for It," Sept. 22, 2005).

The problem is in the way the sound is introduced to the eardrum. With earbud type devices that focus all sound directly into the ear canal and at the eardrum, the hearing damage is much greater. The high quality sound can also make it difficult for listeners to realize just how loud the music is.

Research suggests that taking a break five minutes out of every hour allows for the ear to rest and repair. Also, "if you can hear headphones two or three feet away, it's probably too loud," says audiologist Douglas Beck.

Like anything else, personal responsibility is essential. The technology is incredible, but the human beings using it are subject to error from time to time, so it is important to remember that our bodies are the temple of God and need to be treated with respect and appreciation. So use iPod-like devices responsibly, and from time to time cherish the sounds of silence.