Loud sounds, such as those at a concert or coming over headphones plugged into an MP3 player, can damage the inner ear and cause long-term hearing loss. Learn more about the science of sound, and how you can protect your hearing at today's site picks.
Learn about the science of sound, and how your ears hear. "You can hear because your ears convert the vibrations of a sound wave in the air into signals that your brain interprets as sound." Apple's advice is to listen responsibly by thinking about the volume of your iPod and keeping track of how long you listen to your iPod. There is also an important link at the top of the page, that answers frequently asked questions about setting a Volume Limit on your iPod or iPhone.
Published by the Oregon Health & Science University, Dangerous Decibels' mission is to reduce "noise-induced hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear) through exhibits, education and research." Can you name the top three things to do when confronted with extreme noise? Walk away, protect your ears, or turn it down! Visit the site for more tips, facts, coloring sheets, a virtual museum exhibit (find it under Exhibitry) and classroom materials.
Explore all aspects of sound and listening, as you learn about "the physical nature of sound, the physiology of hearing, and the capacity to listen attentively." Start with the Listening Guides ("skilled listeners share their secrets") for multimedia presentations on listening to nature, listening to make music, and listening to solve problems. Next, click on over to the online activities which include online listening games and printable activity sheets (take a blindfolded walk or make a membranophone).
Sponsored by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), It's a Noisy Planet is designed to educate parents of kids ages eight to twelve on the "causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL)." In addition to the content aimed at parents, there is also a TweenZone for preteens, where you'll find Facts, Noise in the News, Videos and Games. "If you force your ears to deal with too much noise for too long a time, you have a good chance of losing some of your hearing. The worst thing is that hearing loss from noise exposure does not get better. Once you have it, it lasts forever."
Another site from the NIDCD, this one is not specifically written for either kids or parents, but chock full of valuable facts about NIHL. Visit to get answers to questions such as: what sounds cause NIHL and what are the symptoms of NIHL? "When a person is exposed to loud noise over a long period of time, symptoms of NIHL will increase gradually. Over time, the sounds a person hears may become distorted or muffled, and it may be difficult for the person to understand speech."