Hearing loss and music
Noise induced hearing loss - music; Sensory hearing loss - music
Adults and children are commonly exposed to loud music. Between ear buds connected to iPods or MP3 players and music concerts, loud music can cause hearing loss.
The inner part of the ear contains tiny hair cells (nerve endings).
The human ear is like any other body part -- too much use and it may become damaged.
Over time, repeated exposure to loud noise and music can cause hearing loss.
Decibels of Sound and Hearing Loss
The decibel is a unit to measure the level of sound.
The risk of damage to your hearing when listening to music depends on:
Jobs or activities that increase your chance of hearing loss music are:
Children who play in school bands can be exposed to high decibel sounds, depending on which instruments they sit around.
When at a Concert
Rolled-up napkins or tissues do almost nothing to protect your ears at concerts.
Two types of earplugs are available to wear:
Other tips while in music venues are:
Rest your ears for 24 hours after noise exposure to give them a chance to recover.
How to Listen to Music on Your iPod or MP3 Player
The small ear bud style headphones (inserted into the ears) do not block outside sounds. Users tend to turn up the volume over other noise.
If you wear headphones, the volume is too loud if a person standing near you can hear the music coming through the headphones.
Other tips about headphones are:
When to Call the Doctor
If you have ringing or “muffling” in your ears for more than 24 hours after exposure to loud music, get a hearing check-up.Have your hearing checked by an audiologist.
See your health care provider for signs of hearing loss if:
Arts HA. Sensorineural hearing loss in adults. In: Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2010:chap 149.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. NIH Pub. No. 97-4233. Updated: October 2008.
Review Date: 5/13/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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