Updated: Thursday, 06 May 2010, 7:11 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 06 May 2010, 6:17 PM EDT
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The month of May is Better Speech and Hearing Month across the country. It's a time to focus on the dangers of blaring those headphones too loud.
According to the National Institute of Health, roughly 28 million Americans suffer from significant hearing loss. Ten million of those cases can be attributed to noise exposure.
Lafayette Hearing Center Audiologist Susan Lopez says teenagers and college age people are most at risk for hearing loss later in life.
"That group of kids is really at risk because they're playing it too loud and they're generally unaware of the risks that they're doing. They think it's going to be something that will go away eventually or there is treatment for it or if they just stop listening, they will be fine," said Lopez.
Lopez said genetics play a big role in determining how at-risk a person is for hearing loss. But, volume just may have the biggest role.
The louder they play it and the longer they listen, the more likely they're going to be having to have hearing aids in 5 years, 10 years down the road," said Lopez.
According to Lopez, if you're going to use headphones to listen to music, ear buds like should be avoided as much as possible. She said it's best to use a different type of headphone.
"The ear buds are the worst. The super aurals, the ones that go over your ears, even the ones that have the little flanges that go down inside your ear, the little rubber tips... Those would be great," said Lopez.
Ringing in your ears and feeling like your hearing is muffled are some early warning signs. The best prevention, Lopez said, is just to turn the volume down.