Perhaps you have associated hearing loss and deafness to old age. While it is true that over time your hearing does degenerate it seems that people are losing their hearing at a much younger age these days. What is the culprit? Loud music coming through earbuds damages your hearing.
According to Dr. George Alexiades people are coming in due to hearing loss in their thirties. “Normally people were coming in in their 50s and 60s with hearing loss, and now that has shifted into people in their thirties and forties,” explained Dr. Alexiades. This is because people are constantly listening to music etc. through earbuds, which are actually the most destructive thing to hearing loss.
Earbuds damage your hearing by ruining the hair cells inside the cochlea, deep inside your ear. These hair cells are crucial because they turn vibrations into sounds in your brain. If the sound is too loud some of the hairs can become ruined. If the loud sound is brief the damage to these cells can be reversed, but if it persists, they can be damaged permanently.
Not everyone knows how many decibels of sound they are listening to, so what can be done to avoid hearing loss from earbuds? According to ABC’s Dr. Richard Vesser it is advised not to go over three quarters of your top volume for a couple hours at a time.
Prevention and awareness is the key. Explain to children and teenagers that earbuds damage your hearing when they have the volume too high. Give examples of what it should sound like, and for how long you can listen. Also if you are commuting for a long time in noisy environments bring ear plugs to help block some of the sound.
Have earbuds damaged your hearing? Let us know what tips you suggest to prevent hearing loss from earbuds in the comments below.