How listening to music can cause hearing problems
Audiologist William Shapiro explains how the ear is affected by music which can cause hearing problems.
Probably since the dawn of loud music we have been warned (with some sadly having experienced) how AMPLIFIED music can cause damage to one’s hearing, yet we carry on cranking the volume.
From speakers blasting a crowd to headphones blasting a party for one inside your head, most of us have a hedonistic approach to music, but it’s not necessarily sustainable.
William Shapiro is the clinical associate professor at University Langone in New York and feels that people are not heeding advice regarding safe music consumption through headphones.
The professor notes that young people are most at risk, as studies find that one in five teens endure some form of hearing loss stemming from noise exposure.
The fear of a damaged Cochlea
So what really happens when loud music meets our precious aural organ and what makes earphones so dangerous?
Very simply put;
Sound enters your ear through vibrations which are translated by the tiny hairs in the cochlea found in your inner ear. The cochlea is the ‘instrument’ that transforms vibrations into the neural signals needed for you to perceive sound. Thank you High School Biology!
When you use earphones (ear ‘buds’) it sits very close to your ear drum, which increases the sound pressure, thus leading to the risk of hearing problems.
Dr Shapiro says:
‘So actually you’re stressing the hairs in the cochlea and you’re shearing them and damaging them. So just increasing sound from three to six DB [decibels] doubles the intensity of the sound.’
He recommends listening to volume at 60% for no more than an hour a day as well as using noise cancelling headphones (headphones are generally better.)
The advice from Audiologist William Shapiro aims to keep the cochlea in the clear and stress free so that we may continue to hear despite our love for loud music… heed his advice of face hearing problems when you are older! Simple…