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Posted: Tuesday, 12 August 2014 6:43AM

Listen up; hearing loss from headphones is serious

If you crank up your mobile device with those headphones on,  it is possible you are damaging your hearing.  Doctors say they are seeing more young people than ever  with hearing loss because of loud music.

"We are seeing more and more younger people," according to Dr. Dave Mulnick, a clinical audiologist in Metairie.

The loud music coming through headphones is doing permanent damage to users' ears if they have the volume too loud. 

"It used to be that the patients that we saw because of noise-induced hearing loss were those patients that worked in factories, refineries, ship yards, hunters, things like that," the audiologist explained. "You didn't see, for the most part, young people with noise induced hearing loss."

Now, he says that has changed.

Mulnick says there is a decibel level we should keep our music below to prevent damaging our ears. 

"Rule of thumb is anything below 85 decibels," said Dr. Mulnick.  "Occupational Safety and Health, their standards say that at 85 decibels you can be exposed 8 hours in a day without significant risks."

While it's hard to tell exactly what 85 decibels would be without a measuring device,  Dr. Mulnick says you should make sure you can still hear other sounds even when you have your headphones on.

"If you have a sound coming into your ears that you can't hear other people talking over it, I would worry about it," said Dr. Mulnick.

Dr. Mulnick says our hearing is a very special commodity.

"It is how we were supposed to communicate with one another, and when it breaks down because of significant hearing loss, we are at a major disadvantage, so by all means protect your hearing as much as possible," Dr. Mulnick added.

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