Loss of hearing is becoming more prevalent with people these days. Millions of people are plugged into their ipods and wear ear bud style headphones. Headphones that stay on the outside of the ears rather than inserted into the ear (ear buds) are better for your hearing in the long run. The inserted ear bud style puts the sound too close to the ear drum which can cause damage resulting in loss of hearing. The outside headphone is more buffered because of the padding and the sound stays further away from the ear drum.
People who workout in a gym are more susceptible of losing hearing because they usually play the music louder than normal to off set the house music. Also, when people train they want to workout out to certain beat or cadence and the driving sound makes them more motivated to get through the workout. Unfortunately, the low deep bass sounds when cranked up can do the most damage to the ear drums.
If hearing is important to you, especially as you age, then being more conscious about your headphones and the volume at which you play your music should be considered.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed