We are constantly surrounded by electronic gadgets on a daily basis. Be it our smartphones, our ipads and other tablets, or our personal audio devices, we are constantly plugged in both physically and mentally. This constant contact with loud volumes while listening to our favorite music or watching our favorite movies can be detrimental for our hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss is the type of hearing loss that accompanies prolonged exposure to unsafe levels of noise. This type of hearing damage is the second most common cause for damaged hearing all across the globe.
Our hearing involves an intricate, delicate process including several delicate hair follicles within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for converting the sound impulses received by the ear into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain for interpretation. Loud levels of sound can damage these delicate hair follicles permanently, and since these hair cells cannot regenerate, permanent hearing loss may occur.
We may think that we are being responsible and safe when we use headphones, but what we are really doing is transmitting sound signals directly into our ear canals, which can be dangerous at loud volumes.
You may wonder what consists “loud” when it comes to volume levels. Generally speaking, any noise that exceeds 85 dB is considered loud and unsafe for human hearing. Sources of unsafe levels of loud noises include lawn mowers, hair dryers, blenders, and power tools.
Many of us love to listen to music at loud volumes simply to drown out the world and focus on being in the moment. Unfortunately, at full volume your personal audio device can generate sound levels up to 112dB! This is definitely unsafe for your hearing and even a single exposure at such a loud level of noise can permanently damage your hearing.
Your hearing is not simply a matter of being able to hear the sounds around you. Loss of hearing has been found to have an adverse effect on your physical and mental health as well. It puts you at risk of heart disease, dementia, depression, and anxiety. With so many harmful effects, it would be unwise to ignore the threat that loud volume levels can have on your health.
Take your health into your own hands and take good care of your ears to keep hearing loss at bay. You can do this by turning down the volume level to a maximum of 60% when listening to music or watching videos.
You can also invest in a pair of noise cancelling headphones so that you can focus on your music without needing to increase the volume to drown out background noise. Also, over the head headphones are much better than in the ear earbuds, since headphones do not transmit sound directly into your ear canal.
Remember to wear hearing protective gear such as earplugs or earmuffs before exposing yourself to any loud noises, such as sporting events or rock concerts. Taking steps to protect your hearing today can go a long way in preserving your overall health in the years to come.
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