"Anything where you're putting sound into the eardrum, that's something as a society that we need to take a closer look at," Rex Banks, chief audiologist at the Canadian Hearing Society, was quoted as saying by CBC. That's because loud noises damage the cilia of the inner ear, the tiny hair-like structures that change sound waves into electrical signals that are carried to the brain. The damaged cilia never grow back.

"Once they've been damaged, that's irreversible," Banks said. Compounding the problem is the fact that people often listen to music when they are out on the street or in the subway where there is a lot of other background noise. Most earphones that come with smartphones and MP3 players do a poor job of blocking ambient street noise.

Latest News from Lifestyle News Desk