A new study by Deafness Research UK and Specsavers Hearcare has yielded the rather alarming statistic that young people today are likely to lose their hearing thirty years earlier than the previous generation, thanks in part to the ubiquitous personal audio player.

The survey of 1000 people found that 14% of people spend up to 28 hours a week listening to their MP3 player, and that a third of people who have had ringing in their ears still listen to their player every day.

Two thirds of people surveyed didn't know that they could damage their hearing by listening to their music player too loudly.

Vivienne Michael, Chief Executive of Deafness Research UK, recommended that people only listen to their DAPs for around an hour a day, and then, only at 60 percent of full volume or less.

The survey also showed that nearly 30% of 16-34-year-olds go to noisy bars, pubs, or nightclubs once or twice a week, which can leave them with ringing in their ears that indicates some hearing damage.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, noise levels higher than 105 decibels can damage hearing if you're exposed to it for more than a quarter of an hour.

110 decibels is the level at a disco, which matches a car horn, while 120 decibels is what you'll find at a rock concert or from an ambulance siren.

Many MP3 players are actually capped at 100 decibels in Europe.