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Did you Hear Me?

earbuds can be dangerous to your hearing. Read onI am probably the only person who never wears a pair of ear buds connected to an iPod® or some other gadget.  I get it!  People want to hear music or a podcast without the interference of outside noises. It is very unsafe to cross the street, or wander around parking lots with your eyes fixated on the device displayed in the palm of your hand.  That is a good way to get killed!  And whose fault would it be?  The driver of the vehicle, of course, but you’d be dead so it doesn’t really matter who’s to blame.

Didn’t anyone ever tell you to be constantly aware of your surroundings?  You wouldn’t be able to hear a fire truck blasting its horn or a police car’s siren if it were hitting you in the rear end. Joggers should be aware at all times, especially if they run at night in lonely areas. Wearing earbuds puts them at risk. (Actually, no one should be in deserted places alone.)  Don’t these devices have any safety rules for users who can’t think for themselves?  Maybe a warning label on the earbuds should read:  Do not operate while moving in public!

And here’s another thought.  I’m sure the earbuds are of good quality, but the real reason sounds of the outside world can’t be heard is that the volume of the music is turned up loud enough to be rated “concert level.”

As a side note, did you know that 12.5% of kids between the ages of 6 & 19 suffer from hearing loss as a result of using earphones turned to a high volume for long periods of time?  What makes this even more disturbing is that hearing loss is not reversible. And, the longer it goes unrecognized and untreated, the faster it progresses.  Parents commonly complain about their kids not listening to them.  Possibly the real reason is that the kids don’t “hear” the parents.

This is not me complaining, it’s a community service announcement.  If you want to hear everything as you age, don’t blast music using earbuds, or you will be trading in those earbuds for hearing aids.

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