The results of an Australian governmental study show that people listening to music at high volumes, especially those who use earphones and headphones, are subjected to a higher risk of developing permanent hearing problems. The study shows that about two thirds of the population of Australia is affected to some extent by ear damage produced by the listening of music at high volume. Nearly three quarters of them are said to have ages between 18 and 34 and have tinnitus, a condition that involves hearing a ringing sound inside the ear, which is associated with permanent damage.
"This may reflect a lifestyle aspect, with younger Australians more likely to attend bars, pubs and listen to music through headphones", the report writes.
Also, the report shows that about 41 percent of the adult population of Australia uses headphones at least once a month, as compared to the three quarters of the younger people who make use of MP3 players and headphones. Additionally, more than half of the young adults reported listening to music at high volume ratios, powerful enough to produce significant damage, while the report proposes the use of moderate volumes when using headphones, to avoid permanent ear damage.
"If it is loud, it can cause damage and if it does cause you damage, it is permanent. Our rule of thumb is if people have to raise their voice or actually shout at you to make themselves understood while you are listening to music in your ears, then that is loud enough to be potentially damaging", said Professor Harvey Dillon of the Hearing Australia government funded organization during an interview for the Australian television. Also, Dillon said that people don't seem to be aware of the fact that the damage produced by the simple use of headphones at high volume is permanent.