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Did you know your earphones are making you deaf? Here's how.
Fact: Roughly 1.1 billion people worldwide within the age group of 12-35 have been found to be at an increased risk of developing hearing problems.
Listening to loud music on handheld devices using earphones has become a common trend among youngsters these days. You might find it very relaxing to plug in your earphones and escape into your own world of music, but you need to know that this can cause serious damage to your ears. The worst part: you won't realise your ears are being damaged until it's too late.
So, exactly how is loud music damaging your ears?
Continuous exposure to loud music from earphones or other sources results in a medical condition known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), which can be associated with irreversible damage to the ears resulting in deafness.
When you hear loud music for a considerable amount of time every day it affects your hair cells (nerve cells responsible for sending sound signals to the brain) negatively, so that their ability to respond to sound decreases. If this keeps on happening for many months, eventually the hair cells are damaged beyond repair. These cells cannot be regenerated, making you permanently deaf.
How loud is too loud?
If your ears are exposed to sounds at 95, 100, 105, 110 and 115 dB (decibel, the unit used for measuring sound) for 4 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, 30 minutes and 15 minutes each day respectively, your ears are at risk of getting severely damaged. Also, playing music at 120 dB or above can damage your ears instantly. You can have a realistic idea about the relation between decibels and sounds you commonly hear by referring to this list:
- 30 dB: soft whisper
- 75 dB: busy traffic
- 90 dB: noise of a motorcycle at 25 feet
- 100 dB: noise of a farm tractor
- 140 dB: jet plane taking off
Moreover, if you experience the following symptoms regularly, there's a high chance that you need to get your ears treated soon:
- A ringing sound in your ears when you are at a quiet place, which vanishes after a few minutes
- You need to raise the volume of TV or music to the fullest to hear it properly
- You have difficulty in hearing people talking at a distance of just 3 feet
Tips For Safer Listening
- Use earplugs: The louder the noise and the longer you're exposed to it, the greater the chance of damaging your hearing. Protect your ears with ear protectors – earplugs or earmuffs – and get away from the noise as quickly or as often as you can.
- Turn down the music: Don't listen to your personal music player at very high volumes and never to drown out background noise. If the music is uncomfortable for you to listen to, or you can’t hear external sounds when you’ve got your headphones on, then it's too loud. It's also too loud if the person next to you can hear the music from your headphones.
- Use the 60:60 rule: To enjoy music from your MP3 player safely, listen to your music at 60% of the maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day.
- Wear headphones: When listening to your personal music player, choose noise-cancelling headphones, or go retro with older muff-type headphones. Ear-bud style headphones and in-the-ear headphones are less effective at drowning out background noise.
- Turn down the dial: Turn down the volume on your TV, radio or hi-fi a notch. Even a small reduction in volume can make a big difference to the risk of damage to your hearing.
- Use earplugs when you’re listening to live music: They can reduce average sound levels by between 15 and 35 decibels. They’re widely available at many live music venues and shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the music.
- Don't put up with work noise: If you’re experiencing noise at work, talk to your human resources (HR) department or your manager and ask for advice on reducing the noise and getting hearing protection.
- Wear ear protectors: Wear ear protectors (earplugs or earmuffs) if you are using noisy equipment such as power drills, saws, sanders or lawn mowers.
- Be careful in the car: Listening to music in a confined space increases the risk of hearing damage. Don’t listen to music too loud for too long.
- Have a hearing detox: Give your ears time to recover after they’ve been exposed to loud noise. According to Action on Hearing Loss, you need at least 16 hours of rest for your ears to recover after spending around two hours in 100dB sound, for example in a club. Reducing this recovery time increases the risk of permanent deafness. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ENT specialist.
My father is 65 years old he is having a skull base infection due to which he has suffered hearing loss. He has also lost his balance of walking. He cannot hear anything after putting hearing aid. He hears some buzzing sound. Need your expert advice.
Which type of hearing aid we get from govt schemes it free or costly it can IIC hearing aid by govt schemes.
I am 24 years old male. I had cold which was accompanied by hearing loss and pain in left ear. After having a course of amoxicillin and potassium clanuvate antibiotics, my pain was relieved but there is no improvement in hearing. Now I hardly hear anything from that ear. It has been 5 days since I heard from that ear. Can anybody please help. I am a smoker.
I am suffering from communication problem I have minimal hearing loss audiologist says it is in normal range but I am not satisfied with there answer I makes depressive and frustrated every time it affect my communication skill then I start to ignore conversation with family, friends and with other sir I have hearing loss level only 20db in right and 22db in left ear my voice become worse sir I wants to become a good businessman but social stress and bad conversation makes my mind weak and my face only one expression for any situation it makes me to forget the difference between yes or no I am not able to say properly to people what I wants form them and what is like and dislike of me I wants to makes my family happy but it is not possible for me in this time but before this problem I was the vary good comedian in school and in home every one wants to be friend but in this time the situation is totally changed lack of conversation makes me unknown and frustrating person in every time in home and collage no one lesion what I say because I talks to loudly I hear my own voice loudly sir it is the stage where I have to makes myself what I want but this problem always push me back to poor condition I always cary in alone but in public I try to be strong how I become a top business man if I have did not understand what people says in front of me you loose my interest in all activity some time situation become so critical like a sico person I behave no one like my style to face the problem life become hell for me I want to use hearing aid because I wants gain my sharp minded and always happy in every situation type personality once again please tell me the advantage and disadvantage of hearing aid please do not tell me to go an ENT specialist and audiologist because I already try this I takes medicine and clean my ear wax by ENT specialist but no difference occur ENT specialist says if facing problem in conversation in collage with friend and in family and other if it affect the relation then you have to go for hearing aid trial but I wants to know from you is it good idea to use hearing aid.
While most noise is just in the background for us, loud noises, either in small spurts or prolonged exposure, can cause hearing loss. This has been happening more frequently as the levels of noise in an industrialized society go further up.
Noise induced hearing loss explained
Loud noises may damage the sensitive structure of your ear, which process the sound waves into information. They eventually become nonfunctional, resulting in a loss of hearing in that range. If exposure to loud noises continues, then this might extend to the entire range of hearing and may cause total hearing loss.
What may cause noise induced hearing loss?
Some of the scenarios which may cause noise induced hearing loss are as follows:
1. Listening to music on high volume: If you constantly listen to music or watch movies at your home on very loud levels, then it may result in noise induced hearing loss. In fact, listening to music or watching movies with headphones in your ears is one of the leading causes for hearing loss. Headphones have deceptively loud levels and may result in damaged hearing overtime.
2. Noise of household tools: Household tools such as drills, mixers, grinders, mowers, and saws can expose you to loud levels of noise. Even a quick exposure for a few seconds could temporarily damage your hearing.
3. Occupational problems: Occupations such as construction, factory work and military that require the use of power tools on a constant basis can also cause hearing loss. The sound from the resulting friction might damage your hearing very quickly. Explosions and impacts are also causes of hearing loss in the military and law enforcement departments.
Prevention and treatment
Treatment: It is difficult to treat hearing loss as in most cases; it may be permanent, except sudden shocks, when your hearing might come back to normal. The only treatments for hearing loss are hearing aids or cochlear implants which can restore hearing partially.
Prevention: Prevention is the best method to avoid hearing loss and in most cases, you should wear ear protection such as mufflers or sound level reduction devices to protect your hearing. Also, practice listening to music, watching TV or movies at lower levels, especially if you are on the headphones. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a ent-specialist.
Sir I wants to gain knowledge everything and I wants to be a good communicator and I wants a good personality but I have some degree of hearing loss it cause big problem in my conversation then I always behaves like fool and my appearance become so poor in public I always feel frustrating and insecure because of my bad conversation I have hearing loss 23db in right and 21db in left and I cannot recognize my speech properly then I goes to ENT specialist they cannot recommend me hearing aid I spend one year with this problem I lost everything friend ,happiness and good and attractive personality. I always feel frustrated and alone, I do not wants to live like this. I wants a luxary life to me and my family, it is only possible for a person who have good communication skill and have no place for stress but I lost all my quality and I am become a frustration and tension
Sir I have minimal hearing loss the reason behind it is before 7 month my ear drum have hole with my mistake it discharge regularly some type vibrate with large sound then I regular check it to the doctor after 3 month it become normal and in good condition but the problem is that it cause minimal hearing loss and this cause big problem in my academic and personal life it raise social street and depression I cannot hear the exact volume of my own voice I lost the judgement to talk with people it make me alone every time I cannot concentrate in my study by this problem.
You may find out that your child is suffering from hearing loss when he is born or he may be diagnosed with the condition later in life. Hearing loss in children is commonly caused by otitis media, birth problems and on the account of certain injuries or illnesses.
Signs and symptoms
The early stage symptoms of hearing loss in children are as follows:
No reaction to extremely loud noises
No response or reaction to your voice
The child makes some sounds, which taper off
The other symptoms which follow include:
He may pull and rub his ears.
He may act cranky constantly without any proper reason.
He might stop paying attention.
Low energy levels are indicated.
He may find it hard to follow directions.
He may ask you to increase the volume of the radio or TV.
Fever and ear pain are also likely symptoms.
Early hearing loss can affect your child’s language learning skills. If the problem is diagnosed and treated soon, the problem with language can be avoided. The method of treatment depends on the cause of hearing loss in your child and the severity of hearing loss.
There are certain medicines for hearing---prescribed by your ENT Surgeon. Pleas take the point watchful waiting. Even if you have slightest doubt of hearing loss contact ENT immediately.
The primary treatment methods of hearing loss in children include the following:
Watchful waiting: Sometimes, the condition may resolve on its own and the treatment involves simple monitoring of your child for positive changes.
Medicines: There are certain medicines for hearing loss in children, which may be prescribed by your pediatrician.
Ear tubes: Ear tubes may be recommended if medicines and monitoring do not work. The tubes allow fluid to drain and help in preventing infections. A minor surgery has to be undertaken on your child for getting the ear tubes placed. This will solve the hearing loss and other related issues.
Hearing aids: Hearing aids may be used to allow your child hear better. It is safe for children to use ear tubes after the age of one month. For the right hearing aid for your child, you need to consult a hearing specialist.
Implants: Cochlear implants are used to treat hearing loss in many children. These are electronic devices which are put in the inner ear to benefit hearing. These should be used only if hearing aids did not succeed and these are meant to be used only in case of children with serious hearing problems.
There are several other devices, which can help your child with hearing loss. For suggestions and recommendations, you must take your child to a hearing specialist.
Having sensorineural hearing loss of mild type in rt ear and moderate type on lt side I am 66 year male and have not have much problem in hearing at distance of 4-5 ft How I can improve hearing at distance without a hearing aid.
I am a 37 years old male, and nowadays I am hearing a hissing sound / ringing sensation in my ears since the last few weeks. This sensation becomes more prominent at some times and less at others. I would also like to mention that my nose is blocked during each night and I have to use Otrivin spray to decongest it. Please advise.
-does not responds to sound by making sounds, or by looking at the speaker.
- isn't using gestures, such as bye-bye & does not stops activity in response to'no.
- does not point to five body parts and has trouble imitating tow word sentences
- does not follow a serious two simple but related commands.
- about three quaters of the child's speech at 3 years and by 4 years old, a child should mostly be understood even by people who don't know the child.
If your answer is" yes, consult a speech language pathologist