Loud music and your hearing
What are the facts about loud music and your hearing?
- Everybody’s hearing can be affected by loud music, some more than others
- Many people have experienced temporary hearing damage after one loud night, where sounds seem “dull”, your speech sounds muffled or your ears are ringing
- Over time, exposure to loud music from your personal audio player, gigs, pubs, clubs and stereos can build up and cause hearing loss that is permanent; the hair cells in your ear die and cannot be repaired or replaced
- The hearing loss from loud music is usually painless and gradual, which often makes it difficult to notice until it is too late
- Tinnitus may just last until the next day but for some people (especially if they are listening to loud music frequently without giving their ears a rest) once it is there it never goes away…
- …that means that you will have a new soundtrack in your life; a buzzing, ringing or clicking that is there 24/7
How loud is too loud?
- You can’t talk to someone two meters away without shouting
- Your ears are ringing
- Your ears are hurting
What can I do?
Think about how long and how loud you listen for…
Listening to your player and stereo…
- Turn the volume down to a level that you could still have a conversation with someone nearby
- Remember the 60:60 rule; if you listen to your player at 60% volume, don’t listen for longer than 60 minutes a day
- If you have an iPod download free volume-saving software: http://support.apple.com/kb/TA38403?viewlocale=en_US
- If your player has a “smart volume” feature, use it!
- Get some over-the-ear or noise-cancelling headphones that block out background noise and mean you don’t have to crank the volume up in noisy areas like on the tube, bus or at the gym
- Remember loud music from stereo systems is more damaging in a small space, like a car
In clubs, bars and at gigs….
- Take regular breaks
- Stand away from the speakers
- Invest in some ear plugs costing from £10 that don’t distort the sound of the music
- Give yourself a “noise detox”; your ears need time to recover after a loud night out so give them a day’s rest before listening to any more loud music at another gig or on your player