"Safe Listening!" Photograph by: Kevin Van Aelst This is going to start as a diary, rather than a thread. I want to accumulate the links and information around the "Hearing Safety and Ear Health" topic. Please feel free to add yours. Apart from audio hobby, I am a diver and motor-biker. Those things/hobbies bears dangers. Every time when a diver or motor-biker goes to diving/riding friends tells him/her: "Safe Diving!" and/or "Safe Riding" Why don't we remind each other every time in threads (even in our signatures) using the sentence: "Safe Listening!" In my opinion we should use this warning sentence more and more... Our hearing safety is more important than say a: 10.000 USD DAC/AMP or player. Even the highest priced equipment is meaningless when we loose ear/hearing health... Above Photo Source: http://smattes.com/article/59/loudness "One in ﬁve teenagers in America can’t hear rustles or whispers, according to a study published in August in The Journal of the American Medical Association. These teenagers exhibit what’s known as slight hearing loss, which means they often can’t make out consonants like T’s or K’s, or the plinking of raindrops. The word “talk” can sound like “aw.” The number of teenagers with hearing loss — from slight to severe — has jumped 33 percent since 1994" (Virginia Heffernan, The New York Times Magazine, January 7, 2011). Source for above table: http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/ How to Prevent Hearing Loss Source article: http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/12812/1/How-to-Prevent-Hearing-Loss.html • Exposure to very loud sounds is the major cause for hearing loss. Increased exposure to sounds that are above 85 decibels increases the risk of hearing loss. • If you work as a fire engine driver or an ambulance driver, take appropriate measures to reduce the intensity of hearing the siren sound as these sirens give a sound in the range of 105 to 140 decibels. • Increase in the technology resulted in the development of ipod’s and MP3 players that are also increasing the risk of developing hearing loss. Hence, reduce their usage. Use them in very low volume. Music should be soothing to the ear, but not harmful. • Individuals who remain on phone conversations for longer period are also at increased risk. Hence, use either speaker phones or if the talk it is a very long one, try to do it personally, if possible. • In fact, even the sound in low decibel range is also harmful if heard for a very period of time. It is even more dangerous than loud sound heard intermittently. It is recommended to use ear plugs to reduce the intensity of the sound you hear. • In some cases, single exposure to very large sounds such as gun firing can result in permanent damage to the ears resulting in hearing loss. Hence, stay away from such sounds. If unavoidable, consider using ear plugs to protect the ears from those high intensity sounds. • Research studies show that intake of antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, C, E and minerals such as magnesium help to prevent hearing loss. This is especially useful in people who cannot use ear muffs to avoid hearing large sounds. It is a must for soldiers residing in the battle ground for great many days. These vitamins can be taken as supplements or as a part of a nutribar. • Women who are expecting to become pregnant should take MMR vaccine, to prevent birth of babies with hearing loss. It is found that diseases such as measles increase the risk of developing hearing loss. One last factor that is essential to remember is that while using any sort of machinery such as lawn mower, you should be able to hear outside noises. If you are not able to hear outside noises, then you are hearing a very big noise and you should consider using ear muffs. Another factor to judge that you are being exposed to a very large voice is if you are unable to hear the voice of a person who is just three feet away. In all these cases, it is recommended to use earmuffs that are of high quality. However, in some cases such as genetic defects, hearing loss is unavoidable. An article about hearing loss and its relation to HP use: Against Headphones http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/magazine/09FOB-medium-t.html?_r=0 An article on the hearing and hearing loss: HEARING LOSS http://www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/hearing/hearing.html A basic online hearing test (in reality you have get your ears checked by an audiologist): Hearing Test Simulator http://www.starkey.com/online-hearing-test A chart to correlate the sound pressure levels with daily life situations and "Daily Permissible Noise Level Exposure": Decibel (Loudness) Comparison Chart http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html A basic article for preventing hearing loss: Tips to Avoid iPod Hearing Loss http://ipod.about.com/od/generalmaintenance/a/avoiding-ipod-hearing-loss.htm An article from innerfidelity: Loud Music Sucks! http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/loud-music-sucks An article about the dangers of HP usage: Earphones 'potentially as dangerous as noise from jet engines,' according to new University of Leicester study http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2012/august/earphones-potentially-as-dangerous-as-noise-from-jet-engines-according-to-new-university-of-leicester-study A thread on head-fi about the EMF pollution caused by headphones: Health issues associated with prolonged headphones use due to EMF pollution? http://www.head-fi.org/t/473894/health-issues-associated-with-prolonged-headphones-use-due-to-emf-pollution The original manuscript on the below is not directly related to headphones (but it can be related to magnets and electromagnetic radiation caused by headphones/iems): Health risks of electromagnetic fields. Part I: Evaluation and assessment of electric and magnetic fields. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15018215?dopt=Abstract An article about safe listening: Researchers Recommend Safe Listening Levels for Apple iPod http://phys.org/news80304823.html A lot of useful information including iem's and health by ClieOS: IEMs and Health http://www.head-fi.org/a/basic-guide-to-in-ear-canalphones An article about the PMP's and hearing health: Personal Music Players & Hearing http://ec.europa.eu/health/opinions/en/hearing-loss-personal-music-player-mp3/index.htm#6 As the title on the below says it: IMPORTANT: Audio quality is a huge protection to your hearing http://www.head-fi.org/t/720813/important-audio-quality-is-a-huge-protection-to-your-hearing Protecting your hearing in very noisy environments (earplugs): High-Fidelity Hearing Protection http://www.etymotic.com/hp/erme.html Don't wear HP's while on traffic! : Injuries to Headphone-Wearing Pedestrians Struck by Cars and Trains More Than Triple Since 2004 http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2012/injuries-to-headphone-wearing-pedestrians-struck-by-cars-and-trains-more-than-triple-since-2004 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27_bp5xensQ A short article about headphone history and the current state of its use by people: How Headphones Changed the World http://m.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/05/how-headphones-changed-the-world/257830/ LINKS to the valuable posts inside this thread: In-attentional Blindness by @Tyll Hertsens Quote from Tyll's post: "Probably worth mentioning the issues related to inattentional blindness caused by headphones. People get killed every month by walking out in front of trains with headphones on. That's not to mention cars. Please be aware of the danger of walking around with headphones on and not paying attention to your surroundings." Caution while using Hearring Protection by @Morlizer Quote from Morlizer's post: "When using hearing protection in a noisy environment be sure to not take it off. Our hearing adapts to loud noise if it increases gradually. If you use hearing protection and take them off in a noisy environment you could hurt your ears more than if you were not wearing them due to the sudden change in noise." Practicing Safe Sound: Hardware and Software Pitfalls by @McClelland Quote from McClelland's post: "USB BUGS: Don't Get Bitten" Source for the drawing: http://www.dangerousdecibels.org/education/information-center/decibel-exposure-time-guidelines/ "Safe Listening!"