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Experts: Earbuds Could Be Putting Kids At Increased Risk For Hearing Loss

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Earbuds are putting a lot of people at risk for hearing loss. There is now a warning for children from the World Health Organization.

A new study shows half of all 12- to 35-year-olds listen to their music too loud. According to research by the World Health Organization millions of Americans, including up to 15 percent of school aged children, already have permanent hearing loss.

"Even this morning I had two teenagers come in complaining of hearing noise," Dr. Ana Kim, of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mt. Sinai Hospital, told CBS2's Emily Smith.

As Dr. Kim explained, listening to music with earbuds on a device at the highest volume can ruin a child's hearing forever in just 15 minutes.

"A general rule I tell them is 50 percent of the volume, so middle level," Dr. Kim said.

Headphones can be cranked up to a volume of about 110 decibels, far beyond the recommended level of about 80, Dr. Kim explained.

Dr. Andrew Resnick said the ones that fit directly in the ear may be slightly healthier for your hearing than ear phones because they seal out background noise allowing you to listen to music at a lower volume.

Dr. Resnick said children are at the greatest risk for hearing damage than previous generations because of the increase in availability of music on the go.

If you don't want a future that involves hearing aids, and regular visits to the audiologist listen to that one person who is always telling you to turn the music down.

There are apps that you can download to help prevent your child's music from going past a safe decibel.

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