The HearPod® 60-60 Optional Protection Plan
Since their debut in the marketplace, iPods and other portable mp3 devices have revolutionized the way we listen to music. iPod hard drives store up to 300 hours of music, batteries last for 12 hours, and the volume can be cranked up to 120 decibels. That’s louder than a chain saw or pneumatic drill, and equivalent to a jet plane taking off! But iPod fans are being warned to turn their music down. Even manufacturer, Apple, includes a cautionary note with every iPod, warning that “permanent hearing loss may occur if earphones or headphones are used at high volume.” Facing complaints and a lawsuit blaming the iPod for hearing loss, Apple now provides a a free download with a setting to limit the volume of the digital player. The download applies to the iPod Nano and iPod models with video-playback capabilities.
Currently, 16 million baby boomers have hearing loss and the number is expected to surge to 78 million by 2030. Amazingly, nearly three-quarters of them admit that they have never visited a doctor or hearing health specialist to have a hearing test. In spite of this lack of concern, there are more baby boomers aged 46 to 64 with hearing loss than seniors over the age of 65 with the same condition, and hearing loss among baby boomers is 26 percent more common than in previous generations.
Loud music and noise cause hearing loss by damaging the delicate hair nerve cells in the cochlea, a part of the inner ear that helps transmit sound impulses to the brain. These hair cells often recover from temporary damage. However, permanent damage can occur with prolonged exposure to extremely loud or moderately loud noise. When these nerve hair cells are destroyed, irreversible hearing loss results.
Randy Wohlers BC HIS, and founder of MyHearPod®.com firmly believes that “All iPods and other mp3 players should be modified to prevent boomers playing music above 85 decibels (db), about two-thirds of the maximum volume of a typical portable device. Otherwise, the number of people with irreversible hearing loss will become as widespread as the devices. “
According to Wohlers, “Many people who listen to iPods in noisy environments pump up the volume to dangerous levels to drown out background noise. Busy city hubs and subway noise (around 90 decibels) are already sufficiently loud to cause permanent damage with considerable exposure. Although the damage from chronic exposure to these sound levels is generally slow, it is cumulative. Music lovers who tolerate noise levels above 85 decibels for long periods will end up with irreversible hearing loss.”
Wohlers advises baby boomer iPod fans to follow The HearPod® 60-60 iPod Protection Plan. Set the volume control to no more than 60 percent of the maximum, and try to limit listening to no more than 60 minutes a day. He also recommends wearing sound-isolating or noise-canceling headphones that fit over the ear, instead of earbuds that are inserted directly in the ear. This is because earbuds boost the sound signals by as much as six to nine decibels. Wohlers also suggests using quiet household equipment such as noise-restricting hairdryers, and lowering the volume of stereos and televisions. If you are experiencing tinnitus (ringing in the ears), muffled sound after exposure to loud noise, or you are having difficulty hearing conversations, Wohlers recommends a visit to a physician and a hearing test.
During his first 20 years in hearing health practice, Wohlers’ clientele were mainly seniors around 75 years of age. However, over the past 10 years, Wohlers has noticed a huge difference in his clientele. Nowadays, baby boomers of all ages are making appointments, and most of them have noise-induced hearing loss.
Baby boomer Wohlers says, “Loud rock music and living life ‘full on’ in an amplified noisy society have contributed to hearing loss amongst baby boomers. Nevertheless, if we follow the HearPod® 60-60 iPod Protection Plan, we can enjoy our iPods and continue to live life to the fullest.”