AMA Refers Resolution on In-Ear Headphones for More Study at the Urging of the Academy, Others
As a result of testimony provided by the American Academy of Audiology (Academy) along with the National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA), the American Medical Association referred consideration of a policy resolution calling for the establishment of regulations that would limit the output of portable musical devices, citing further study to better clarify medical and regulatory issues and concerns related to the use of in-ear headphones in portable musical devices.
Brian Fligor, Sc.D., Director of Diagnostic Audiology, Children’s Hospital Boston, Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School submitted testimony to an AMA House of Delegates Reference Committee calling for further study of hearing loss associated with exposure to excessive noise levels from in-ear headphones. Dr. Fligor, agreed with AMA's decision, recommended modifications to the original resolution calling for advocacy efforts to be focused on the prevention of hearing loss from misuse of portable music players. He stated, "The American Academy of Audiology with the support of the National Hearing Conservation Association, recommends advocacy for the prevention of hearing loss from misuse of portable music players by:
- Encouraging technological interventions that address risk for noise-induced hearing loss by monitoring (or minimizing) the integration of sound level over time.
- Targeting education to young people to be able to recognize the risks of hazardous sound exposures, understand how hearing may be damaged by hazardous sound levels, and learn the effective strategies for the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.
- Advocate for national public health campaigns addressing the broader issue of prevention of noise-induced hearing loss.
The Academy looks forward to working with the AMA and others to further study this issue in order to better clarify medical and regulatory issues and concerns related to the use of in-ear headphones in portable musical devices.