Have you ever noticed how loud the world can be at times? From traffic and televisions to construction equipment and lawn mowers, it can seem like our ears are under constant attack from the noise of the world.

You might be tempted at those noisy times to retreat into your own world by listening to music on your headphones. In fact, you might be tempted to crank up the volume to drown out all the other sounds.

Be careful! Your parents might tell you to turn down the volume if they can hear you've got your headphones turned up too loud. If they do, listen to them! They're right.

Your ears are delicate instruments. Loud sounds — from music to jackhammers — can harm your ears and cause hearing loss. That means you can't hear as well as you're supposed to and, in some severe cases, it might mean you can't hear at all.

Over time, exposure to loud sounds can lead to a condition called tinnitus. That's the medical term for what most people call ringing in the ears. People who work around loud machinery often need to wear earplugs to protect their ears from loud sounds.

Headphones — including the popular ear bud variety — can cause the same kind of damage as loud sounds from machinery. So when you wear headphones, give your ears a break and keep the volume at a reasonable level. Your ears will thank you later!

If you go to a concert, you might also want to consider taking some earplugs along. Loudspeakers at concerts can blast music at such a piercing level that your ears can easily be ringing on the way home. If you really want to enjoy music — and enjoy it all your life — you need to protect your ears right now.

Here are a couple other tips to keep your ears safe now and for years to come:

  • Turn the volume down! Instead of cranking the volume up to 10, leave it around 5.
  • Take frequent breaks. Your ears need some quiet time every now and then, so take the headphones off and enjoy the silence!

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