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MP3 players may be tiny, but evidence suggests they could have a big impact on your hearing. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV. Many people have become fans of digital music players. A recent survey found that 44 percent of Americans ages 12 and older own an iPod or other portable MP3 player. In a new study from Belgian researchers, 21 volunteers listened to six hour-long sessions of pop-rock music through an MP3 player. The participants had temporary changes in hearing sensitivity after the sessions. According to the researchers, the reduced hearing sensitivity suggests that these devices could be potentially harmful. The House Ear Institute - an organization focused on hearing - offers several suggestions on how to keep your music at a safe volume. If other people can hear it while you're wearing headphones or earbuds, it's probably too loud. Your music is also probably turned up too high if you can't hear other loud sounds around you. The organization recommends that if you're listening to music or you're in a noisy environment, take 15-minute "quiet breaks" every few hours.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.