We asked the otorhinolaryngologist of the Dawn Clinic Alyona Maas to tell how loud music affects hearing, how much time per day can be spent on headphones and at what sound level you can go deaf.
- Hearing really deteriorates when listening to loud music. But it is important to consider what volume you determine is acceptable for yourself. Of great importance is whether you listen to music through headphones or through speakers. The former affect hearing more sharply, especially if they are small in-ear headphones - they cause a more pronounced effect of the sound wave on the eardrum.
This is evidenced, for example, by a large study by the European Scientific Committee on health risk factors. For five years, scientists observed the level of hearing in young people without concomitant pathology after listening to loud music (more than 85 dB) for at least one hour a day. Researchers noted a decrease in hearing among 5-10% of player users. We can conclude: if you listen to music at high volume for a long time, your hearing may decrease.
It is surprising that different types of music affect hearing differently.
Rock and rap do the most damage - any intense and even aggressive music. The smallest are classics and Latin American motifs. Of course, you should not insist on the relationship between sensorineural hearing loss (hearing impairment. - Approx. Ed.
) and the music genre, since the literature contains a few studies on this issue.
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The allowable rate is no more than eight hours a day at a volume of 85 dB. This standard was established by specialists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety (NIOSH) and the US Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA). But for in-ear headphones, this value is lower - 79 dB. Most music listening devices can produce sound pressures of 120 dB or even higher.
It is clear that a person is unlikely to be able to determine at what level his volume is set. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to the appearance of special red lines when changing the volume on gadgets. All devices warn users that the sound level is too high. Or set the volume to not more than 70% of the maximum.
We must not forget about the volume level when listening to audio books or lectures.
It should also be within normal limits.
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One of the biggest problems is listening to loud music on the subway. External noise exacerbates damage to the hair cells of the inner ear, which increases the likelihood of hearing loss. The same applies to concerts or music festivals.
Why do doctors advise people with stuffy nose to rinse their nose and use vasoconstrictive drops when flying? To reduce the likelihood of barotrauma of the middle ear.
A sound wave does not affect the level of atmospheric pressure in the tympanic cavity. Therefore, with nasal congestion, you can safely listen to music. But with otitis externa - no. The skin is inflamed, and any contact with it of foreign objects will only aggravate the situation. In this case, you can listen to music through the speakers.
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People do not immediately notice hearing loss. Usually they begin to understand speech poorly, they ask more and more often, although it seems that a person’s voice has been heard.
If hearing loss occurs at high frequencies, ear noise symptoms may prevail. Usually, audiological examination of patients with such symptoms can be noted high-frequency hearing loss.
Unfortunately, hearing restoration is possible only in the early period when a sharp decrease in hearing occurs.
The only form of therapy with proven effectiveness in this case is systemic glucocorticosteroids. No vitamins and other remedies will help here. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of such therapy may also not be entirely expected. The auditory nerve and hair cells are damaged easily and practically do not recover. Therefore, it is better to consult a doctor the very next day after you notice a change in the perception of sounds.