Most people assume that continued exposure to loud music and loud noises are directly linked to hearing loss, and they are not incorrect. Young people and old are both susceptible to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) and the scary part is that hearing loss is permanent. Learn more about this by reading below, but be warned that you may think twice before turning up the volume next time you’re listening to your headphones!
NIHL occurs when individuals are exposed to exceptionally loud sounds for a long period of time. The longer the exposure, the worse the hearing loss. The small hairs in the ears, which translate the sounds around you into signals that your brain can read are extremely important and can be fragile when it comes to loud noises. Continued exposure to loud music in headphones, construction and other sources may cause these hairs to die, and once they die there’s no getting them back.
Personal hearing devices (cell phones mostly) are increasing the rate at which people are losing their hearing. Gone are the days where a CD player would run out of batteries in a few hours and “noise cancelling headphones” were an unknown. Now, people can listen to music directly in their ears as loud as they want. As a result, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports that up to 20% of American teenagers suffer from damaged hearing.
Although teenagers are the majority of those affected, it Is also affecting the adult population. It is important that people begin to understand the repercussions of continued use of these devices at high volumes. (The World Health Organization reports that 50% of people ages 12 to 35 listen to music at volumes much higher than recommended)
There is a great rule of thumb when it comes to listening to music via headphones. This is the 60/60 rule and it recommends that you never listen to music at more than 60% of it’s maximum volume for 60 minutes max. When in loud situations such as a busy job site or concert, it is important to take earplugs. It may seem silly at times, but what’s more important, being able to hear for a night or being able to hear for the rest of your life?
If you have any other questions about hearing or hearing loss you can always contact the team at Priority Hearing Aid Group at (805) 496-3553. Hearing evaluations are always complimentary!