Can You Hear Me Now?

Dear Mr. Dad: Our teenage son has an iPod constantly hanging from his ear and as far as I can tell, he listens to the music much too loud. When I ask him to lower the volume because I’m worried that the noise is damaging his hearing, he just laughs. However, I am really worried. What should I do?

A: You’re absolutely right to be concerned about your son’s listening habits—as you suspected, there’s no question that he’s jeopardizing his long-term ability to hear. As far as his shrugging off your pleas to turn down the volume on his iPod, it’s all part of his irrational belief (one he shares with most kids) that he’s indestructible and that nothing bad can happen to him because he is young and strong. Or maybe he thinks that hearing loss only affects old people.
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