We hear a lot about the dangers of how Ipods and MP3s can damage the hearing of teenagers but what about us in midlife? How loud is too loud, and at this point do we think "Do I need all my hearing capacity, anyhow? Maybe I'm better off not hearing everything around me?"
I am 1/2 deaf and I'm careful not to go to loud concerts - witness my decision not to see Bruce Springsteen at the Rose Garden. But I wonder if I am doing damage bit by bit by listening to my Ipod? Doing so, however, is such a stress reliever and personal training tool that I'm loathe to give it up. And I just can't/won't listen to "Cruel to Be Kind" or "Crooked Teeth" quietly.
My Ipod is also a way of proving that although I am half-way to being an old lady I am pretty cool when it comes to music. I MAY have impressed my 16-year old niece with my knowledge of Portland rock band trivia - how many 47-year olds have the Shins, the Decemberists, Pink Martini and Modest Mouse on their Ipods AND knows someone who knows someone who is related to the lead singer of the Dandy Wharhols?
So maybe I am hastening my need for a hearing aide - sigh. Technology is on my side. Each year that goes by hearing aides get better and smaller, which I can justify as a safety net. Plus, unlike smoking cigarettes or not wearing a seat belt, my Ipod habits won't hurt anyone but myself. I guess I'm just a crazy risk-taker - whoo hoo - and my Ipod is here to stay. Do the shuffle!!!
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