Volume Can Damage Hearing
Sometimes, less is more…or perhaps we should say, louder is not better. Noise exposure has left a whopping 12.5% of children aged 6-19 and 17% of adults aged 20-69 with hearing impairment or hearing loss. More often then not, we tend to notice when something is too loud such as, yelling, construction or phone volume, but what many people fail to realize is that those loud noises are actually damaging our hearing. If you ask us, listening to your favorite song at maximum volume doesn’t seem to be a fair trade in this case.
Music is easily one of the most dangerous factors that increase hearing damage, especially with many individuals constantly connected to headphones throughout the workday (and beyond). This is because we tend to not notice how loud we are blasting our favorite songs. Inside our ear lies the cochlea. In there, hair-like structures that serve as sensory receptors. Think of these hairs as those of a new toothbrush. If music is played too loudly for a period of time, these hairs spring out like those of an oldtoothbrush. The difference between the two? A toothbrush can easily be replaced, but once these hairs within the structure are damaged, there is no going back and you are left with permanent hearing damage that can only get worse.
Kim Anthony from Alliance Community Hospital says that it is decibels play the biggest role in damaging hearing loss. The limit in which damage begins to become a factor is 85 decibels, however, the rate of damage is put into effect after 8 hours of prolonged listening. Headphones are closer to 94dB which limits listening to about one hour.
Because hearing loss is usually a problem the elderly face, teenagers feel as though damage does not affect them. The truth is that no one has invincible hearing and it can happen at any age. When wearing headphones, Kim Anthony suggests that you must have the ability to understand someone at arms-length from you and to pay attention to the time of exposure.