(KFVS) - For many of us, listening to music is part of our daily routine.
But are your ear phones ruining your hearing?
Experts say the answer is yes and millions of Americans will likely lose their hearing in the years ahead.
Hit any busy college campus or crowded gym and you'll have an easier time counting the people who aren't wearing ear buds than those who are.
"It keeps me calm; it keeps me in my zone," said one Southern Illinois University student.
"Mostly when I'm working out or walking to class," said another SIU student.
But if the thought of running without Cee Lo, Usher, or Bono wipes out your motivation to lace up or hit the books, you might want to listen up.
"Even over 30 minutes can cause temporary hearing loss and even permanent hearing loss," said Audiologist Cristin Cleek.
Ear buds can produce up to 120 decibels of sound.
Hearing damage begins at 85 decibels.
A jet taking off is 140 decibels.
A hair dryer is 70 decibels.
"We are noticing hearing difficulties at a younger age," said Cleek.
According to the American Academy of Audiology, one in five Americans can no longer hear high pitched sounds.
In fact, audiologist Cristin Cleek says it's a problem that continues to grow.
"Children as young as age six are listening to iPods and they are listening to them all day long," said Cleek.
Keeping your favorite music up for long periods of time can kill fragile hair cells inside your ear, ruining hearing.
She recommends these strategies so you can tune in without completely tuning out.
- The volume of your music should never exceed 50 percent.
- Set a volume lock on your child's listening device.
- Limit listening to music to one hour a day.