There is always a time and place for loud music! Rock concerts are truly amazing thanks to the overwhelming sound blasting from the speakers. A party wouldn't be a proper party without the pulsing, driving rhythms of your favorite dance tunes. It's much easier to work when you have music to drown out all the background noise.
Sadly, all that loud noise can be bad for you!
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Hearing loss from loud music wasn't a problem until very recently. Only in the last few decades have people suffered from hearing loss due to loud music and sounds. It's vital that you protect your hearing NOW so that you will still be able to hear for years to come. To do that, it's vital to know how to protect your ears from loud music…
How Does Loud Music Damage Hearing?
We've all had our parents tell us, "Turn that music down! You'll ruin your ears!"
But how can loud music damage your hearing? Is that even a real thing, or just something our parents said to get us to turn down our stereo?
The truth is that sound really CAN damage your ears. You see, inside your ears there are tiny hairs with nerve endings that change sound into electrical signals. These signals are then sent via your nervous system to your brain, which processes them as the "sound" you hear. That specific stimulation of your brain is recognized as a sound.
But did you know that those tiny hairs can be damaged? Loud sounds can damage the nerve endings in your ears, making them less effective at detecting and transmitting the sounds. This leads to hearing loss, and all because of the loud sounds you were listening to.
Compounding the Problem
Loud sounds are already quite problematic for your ears, but what happens if that loud sound is projected directly at your ears? We're not just talking about the loud sound that echoes through a theater, amphitheater, or rock venue, but the sounds that are pumped straight into your ear via your headphones.
Headphones take a problem (loud sound damaging the tiny hairs in your ears) and make it worse.
The loud sound is projected directly at the tiny hairs, compounding the damage. Those who use headphones and earbuds are far more likely to suffer from hearing loss than those who are simply exposed to loud sounds in their environment.
Did You Know: Headphones at maximum volume reach 105 decibels, while the music at the average rock concert reaches 120 db. That's a marginal difference, but being piped DIRECTLY into your ears!
How Can We Protect Our Ears from Noise and Loud Music?
As you can see, hearing loss from loud music is a VERY serious problem! It's not something you can shrug off, but it's a problem you need to recognize and take steps to deal with.
A startling number of people (especially young people) enjoy music that is too loud for their ears to handle. They inflict the damage on their ears voluntarily, all because they don't realize that they are damaging their ears in the first place.
If you want to reduce your risk of hearing loss and deafness with old age, it's vital to know how to protect your ears from loud music. This means more than just the music you listen to at home - it also refers to music you encounter at clubs, concerts, the theater, and so on.
Here are a few tips to help you understand how to protect your ears from loud music:
It may sound silly to wear earplugs to a rock concert or a club, but that's one of the best ways to reduce your risk of damage to your ears. Ear plugs will help to protect your ears without blocking out ALL the sound.
This is especially important for people who work in loud places (construction workers, musicians, club workers, etc.). Find the right pair of ear plugs and learn how to use them right.
Avoid Loud Venues
Perhaps it's time to give up clubbing, attending concerts, and other places where there is a lot of very loud noise. For many people, this may seem impossible. After all, where else will they go to enjoy their Friday or Saturday nights?
Well, what matters more: your enjoyment, or one of your five senses? You wouldn't do something if you knew it would affect your ability to see, would you? Understand that these loud venues are damaging your ears, and consider carefully how much you value your sense of hearing!
Turn it Down
One of the best ways to reduce damage to the nerve endings in your ears is to turn down the volume on your headphones, speakers, or sound system.
Some people recommend a 60/60 plan: listening to no more than 60 minutes of music at a time, set at 60% volume.
Turn down the volume on your TV, car stereo system, and anywhere else you listen to music. Try to acclimate to a lower volume, as that will reduce the damage on your ears.
Reduce Headphone Use
Did you know that headphones and earbuds can be bad for your ears? They not only send the music directly into your ears (potentially damaging the nerve endings), but they can increase your risk of ear infections and impacted ear wax.
If you want to protect your ears, reduce the amount of time you spend wearing headphones and earbuds. Try to listen to music out loud, though set on a volume low enough to be enjoyable without damaging your ears.
Buy Noise Canceling Headphones
Most of the time, the reason we have our music volume up too high is so the sound can drown out background noise. The sound of traffic, people talking around us, or other sounds can interfere with our listening, so we turn up the volume to block out everything else.
But this means we're pumping very loud music into our ears! Instead of turning up the volume, buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones to block out the background sounds. You can enjoy your music at a lower volume without being annoyed by sounds in the background.
Clean Your Headphones
People who spend a lot of time listening to music will often get germs, bacteria, and wax build-ups on the headphones. This can increase the risk of ear infections and impacted ear wax, both of which can affect your hearing.
The good news is that it's easy to clean your headphones - both regular headphones and earbuds. By keeping your headphones/earbuds clean, you can prevent infections and earwax from impairing your hearing.
Clean Your Ears
People who wear headphones for many hours in the day often end up with extra ear wax build-up. This is due to the fact that headphones and earbuds stop your ears from draining naturally.
Impacted ear wax can reduce your hearing, and can affect the sensitivity of those tiny hairs that detect the sound signals. The smart way to go is to clean your ear.
The Oto-Tip provides you with a safe, easy way to clean your ears at home. The silicone tip will eliminate ear wax without damaging your ears, and the safety guard will prevent you from inserting the tip too far into your ear.
By cleaning your ears and getting rid of excess ear wax, you can improve your hearing!
Give Your Ears a Break
If you are the kind of person who listens to a lot of loud music throughout the day, it's a good idea to give your ears a break. This means NOT listening to music for a set period of time throughout the day. If you can find a quiet place where there is no noise, go there. Read a book or do something that involves no noise, and bask in the silence.
If you can't find a quiet place, play soft white noise to drown out the background sounds. Engage in quiet activities that will give your ears a rest. This will give them time to recover from the loud sounds that damage them throughout the day.
Follow this advice to protect your ears from loud music and sounds! Your ears are delicate, and it's vital that you take care of them. Thanks to the tips above, you can keep your ears working better and avoid hearing loss.