Recent research has indicated that tiny earbud headphones common to modern MP3 players can cause hearing loss in young people. Research at Northwestern University determined that many earbud users tend to listen to music at 110-120 decibels. Such usage can lead to hearing loss within an hour.
What can be done to avoid such hearing damage? Audiologist Roger Hughes said to regularly get your hearing tested:
As the damage starts to accumulate to the hair cells in the inner ear, it becomes a permanent situation and it's not always readily apparent in the beginning. [Testing] give[s] us a base line, it'll tell us at this point what [the] hearing is like, and if … hearing [is] tested regularly, at least we can see if there's a pattern."