Headphone-wearing Austinites talk Bloomberg's hearing-loss campa - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Headphone-wearing Austinites talk Bloomberg's hearing-loss campaign

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is planning a $250,000 social media and marketing campaign urging young folks to turn those headphones down or before long they won't be able to hear anything!

New York's a loud place...so music-fans usually turn their MP3 players way up to hear what's playing as they walk the streets. Here in Austin, this city can also get pretty loud.

Travis Hallmark wears ear-buds while riding his bike.

"Sometimes whenever I put them on after I've worn them or something like that, if I put them in my pocket and put them back on, I notice they're a lot louder than I first thought," Hallmark said.

Sarah Vaillancourt and Daron Loving are UT students.

Like a lot of people, they listen to music while they run.

"Usually loud enough that I probably wouldn't be able to hear somebody talk to me," Vaillancourt said.

"Loud enough to drown out the city noise without trying to get hit by a car," Loving said.

Noise-induced hearing loss is becoming more common in young people. The CDC says excessive noise has resulted in permanent hearing damage in 1 out of 8 children and teens.

Doctor of Audiology Suzanne Estep with New Sound Hearing Aid says anything over 85 decibels can hurt your ears. And she says MP3 players can get over 100 db.

"Listening to very loud sounds or to loud sounds for a long time can damage the hair cells in your inner ear and when you damage those hair cells, you can cause permanent hearing loss," Estep said.

Estep says parents need to keep in mind that kids have smaller ear canals. So ear-buds are even louder for them.

"If they can hear the music when they're sitting next to them, then it's probably too loud. They need to turn it down," she said.

So what do headphone users think of Bloomberg's campaign?

"It's good to know the dangers about headphones except I doubt that a lot of people will stop using them," Loving said.

Loving says if the message is just to turn the music down, she's okay with that.

Estep says whether you're using the ear-buds or the big studio headphones, neither one are really bad per se. She says you've just got to turn them down.

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