The downside to MP3 players: hearing loss?

They say "to love is to suffer." And that may just be true of many people's iPod obsession.

Constantly wearing headphones or earbuds for a digital music player is causing a high incidence of what's called noise-induced hearing loss, according to researchers in a report from the Associated Press on Monday. The condition makes it harder for people to detect high-frequency noises, and includes such side effects as ringing in the ears and having to say "Huh?" too often while conversing in noisy public places. People in their 30s and 40s who were first to use the Walkman are early victims, but those who are even more addicted to their iPods could be worse off, researchers say.

Dangerous Decibels offers tips and support online. Because if loving my iPod is wrong, I don't want to be right.

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