NYC Health Dept. warns about loud music in headphones - KMSP-TV

NYC Health Dept. warns about loud music in headphones

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

City health officials are trying to get the word out that listening to loud music in headphones can cause serious hearing damage.

On busy city streets and below in the subways -- there's no way around it.

"It's a noisy city," said one New Yorker.

"There's a lot of noise. The cars and everything," added another New Yorker.

To drown out the sounds of the city, some of us plug in headphones and crank up the volume -- you know they type standing next to them and you can hear their music blaring.

"I feel sorry for them," said one pedestrian. "In a few years they'll be in trouble."

Trouble is already here. A new study from the health department says one in four adults under the age of 44 who blast their head phones regularly have hearing problems.

"You have to do something to tune it out but not to the point you have to endanger yourself."

Sound pressure is measured in decibels. For example on a New York City street corner, the decibel level average is about 85. Down below on a subway -- it's between 90 to 115.

When you crank up headphones to full blast, it's about 112.

"If you take a look at what's dangerous to our hearing -- the 85 decibels," said Dr. Craig Kasper, Chief Audiology Officer for New York Hearing Doctors.

Audiologist Dr. Craig Kasper says exposure over 85 decibels eight hours at a time can be extremely be dangerous to your hearing but even for regular usage -- he urges caution.

"I would never listen to 100 percent of the volume the long term effects of that are horrible."

He says it's best to set those headphones at 60 percent or below and give those ears a break.

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