How Loud Music Can Cause Hearing Loss

June 18th, 2014 | by Andreas Seelisch | Hearing Loss
How Loud Music Can Cause Hearing Loss

Hearing loss results from a number of causes. But loud music is one of the most common sources of hearing issues, especially among younger people.

As the use of personal audio devices and the popularity of concerts and festivals continue to increase, the frequency of hearing loss is also growing. Taking precautions against prolonged exposure to loud noises will help you avoid damage or loss of hearing.

It’s Too Loud

Concertgoers and festival attendees have been observed to withstand more than 110 decibels. In some cases, measurements of 137 decibels have been measured near stages at popular music festivals.

Not surprisingly, the number of individuals experiencing hearing loss has risen. This is seen as a sudden or gradual loss in the ability to recognize sound. Noise exposure has been the primary cause of this increased prevalence.

The Damage Done

The damage caused by excessive noise levels affects the hair cells within the cochlea of the ear. When the cochlea vibrates at a high rate due to loud noise, the hair cells are sheared off. Over time, permanent loss of the hair cells can occur, making it impossible to restore your hearing.

Prevention through protection is the first step in avoiding hearing loss. The use of earplugs specific to loud music has increased as more people realize the importance of protecting their hearing. Musicians and sound professionals use specialized and custom-fitted earplugs that allow them to hear clearly and at a lower volume.

If long-term exposure is unavoidable, it’s important to give your ears periodic rest to avoid damage. Maintaining a safe distance from the source of loud music such as PA systems will also help minimize the risk.

Overexposure and Hearing

The length of exposure is a major factor in hearing loss, along with the level of noise. Long periods of high volume can cause permanent damage and lead to such issues as tinnitus.

This is important when considering personal devices that are used frequently. With time, your ears may seem to “adjust” to the noise level, when in fact it’s simply losing some of its ability to recognize loud noises.

Although an audiologist can be used to identify hearing loss, symptoms such as buzzing or ringing in the ears, along with requests to others to repeat their words can signify the potential presence of hearing loss.

It can occur slowly, and be difficult to notice right away. This further emphasizes the need to take preventive measures sooner than later.
Hearing loss continues to rise among individuals exposed to loud music. As music professionals and the public become more aware of the potential risk, they are using earplugs and taking the steps to avoid overexposure so that they can enjoy music for years to come.

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