The dangers of loud music to hearing

PREVENTION

© Ruben Vazquez - Sxc

The Bismarck Tribune (North Dakota, USA) recently reported on the increased incidence of hearing loss in adolescents from 12 to 19 years of age. An increase of about 5% has been reported in the United States over the last 10 years, the article indicates. Warnings about the risks of loud music to hearing may be falling on deaf ears.

According to Amanda Boutilier, a hearing aid specialist and audiologist from the Sanford Health medical facility, “Approximately 20% of adolescents from the ages of 12 to 19 have hearing loss. In adolescents, hearing loss is definitely due to excessive noise.” The main source of noise in this age group is thought to be music that is just too loud from personal devices, car stereos and concerts. “A general rule is when you are listening to your iPod, if someone else can hear it, it is probably too loud,” she added. “Another measure we use is if you look at your volume bar, your volume should never be over 50%.” She also recommended the use of simple, over-the-counter ear plugs for concerts, mentioning that many musicians also wear these to prevent damage to hearing.

Another important problem is that hearing loss caused by exposure to loud music is generally insidious and very gradual. Young people are often not aware that loud music is actually doing irreversible damage until it’s too late. If the hearing loss becomes permanent, it could require hearing aids. “So that's why it is so important to protect your ears, so you don't have to go down that road,” Boutilier said.

Source: The Bismarck Tribune

C.S.