Saturday, August 22, 2015

Earbuds…Worse for Your Hearing Than You Think

June 10, 2015
By Rhonda Ruby, West Newton Hearing Center

An article published online by NBC News outlined the impact of exposure to noise on the ability to hear.

“Earlier this year the World Health Organization warned that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of personal audio devices, such as smartphones, and damaging levels of sound at entertainment venues like electronic dance music festivals, where noise levels can top 120 decibels for hours. Hearing loss among today’s teens is about 30 percent higher than in the 1980s and 1990s, Cherukuri estimates.”

Unfortunately one of the primary causative factors may the earbud. An earbud is a very small headphone, worn inside the ear or just against the outer opening of the ear canal.

Colter Hettich of the New York Daily News reports that “earbud headphones, even at low volume, may be causing permanent damage to your hearing.

Researchers at Harvard Medical School’s Eaton Peabody Laboratory learned you can lose up to 90 percent of your cochlear nerve fibers — without losing the ability to detect a tone in quiet. But once background noise is introduced, hearing ability drops dramatically. So, hair cells may be completely intact but hearing still lost if the nerve synapses are damaged.

Earbud headphones deliver stronger, more damaging waves straight to the cochlea — even at lower volumes. And without a known treatment for cochlear nerve damage, researchers strongly recommend exercising caution.”

Avoid the use of earbuds, instead try earphones that fit over the entire outer ear. Over the ear headphones provide a more natural delivery of sound and lessen the ambient noise. Those two reasons usually allow over the ear headphone users to listen to music at a softer volume setting. The 60/60 rule is a good rule of thumb. No more than 60% of the volume for no more than 60 minutes.

I found out about this study at the following link, which has a list of some musicians with hearing loss, probably from their own performances.

The Fiscal Times

Below are just a few of the musicians who are suffering from hearing loss:

Chris Martin of Coldplay suffers from Tinnitus

Tinnitus and hearing loss. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Neil Young
Also part of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young

With Black Sabbath, Ozzfest concerts, Ozzy Osbourne has suffered serious hearing loss

Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Winner Phil Collins lost hearing in his left ear

Sir George Martin, known as the “Fifth Beatle” suffered hearing loss., a founding member of The Black Eyed Peas, suffers from painful tinnitus

The Beach Boys Brian Wilson lost his hearing in his right ear because of abuse

From the Yardbirds to his own groups, Jeff Beck also suffers from painful tinnitus

Eric Clapton—one of the all-time greatest guitarists—once again suffers from tinnitus

Pete Townshend, The Who, is deaf

Ludwig von Beethoven began to lose his hearing at age 30. Fifteen years later, he was almost totally deaf.

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