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Avoid potential hearing loss from your MP3 player by turning down the volume.

They are modest in measure, almost going unnoticed because of their size. but m-p 3 players are hugely popular. The devices are small enough to slip in a pocket and the ear buds, as they're called, fit so they don't fall out.

Dr. Serge Martinez

"…it concentrates the sound into the ear canal and gets higher concentration."

Dr. Serge Martinez of the University of Louisville says these gadgets are great, but the people who use them have to be careful about how much noise they allow into their ears.

Dr. Martinez continues

"The risk lies in the concentration of sound and noise that comes through the ear because of damage that can be done in the inner ear, nerve damage which can be permanent."

Martinez says the problem is how long a person is exposed to sound for any given period of time.

Martinez adds

"It doesn't matter what the sound is, it's the sound pressure that is arriving at the ear drum and being transmitted to the inner ear."

Martinez says there haven't been many medical cases on hearing loss related to the MP3 players. But he says hearing loss doesn't happen in just a short time. Damage comes with the accumulation of sound over a lifetime. Martinez suggests turning the volume down a bit and occasionally giving your ears a rest by powering down.

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