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Popular Christmas gift leading to teen hearing loss



Dec 16, 2014
By: Jenny You - Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Trendy earbuds like Beats by Dr. Dre and Bose top many Christmas  lists this year. But depending on how your kids use them, they may be doing more damage than good.

Earbuds place sound deeper into the ear canal and with more kids listening for longer periods of time, Sacred Heart Hospital audiologist Dr. Shawna Lee, AuD says you can take some easy  steps to educate and help your kids avoid hearing loss.

"I think just the prevalence of children and younger and younger individuals using earphones longer and for higher doses of time is where concern is setting in," said Lee.

She said the problem is that kids are wearing these earphones at loud volumes when they're going to school, in the car , at the gym, at home, etc.

In fact, at UW-Eau Claire, it was hard to find a student without them.

UWEC Football  player Jon Wilkins said having headphones helps him drown out the already loud music and noise in the gym.

"I guess having headphones helps . I usually play my music like pretty loud," said Wilkins.

Lee said when you're working out  at the gym or running on a treadmill, you might turn up the level of your iPod because you want to hear your music above the running and the noise in the gym.

"If you were to turn that on in a quiet environment, it would sound way too loud to you and it's tricky because the brain adapts to that level of sound and almost thinks it's okay to listen at that high level," said Lee.

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