We all know that loud music can be damaging to our ears, but why is that? And, more importantly, what can be done to protect ourselves from the effects of loud music? Whether it's watching your favorite artist jam at a concert, listening to music in the car with friends, or being in a bar or nightclub, there are many opportunities to be exposed to high volumes.
Excessive exposure to loud sounds can cause permanent damage to hearing. Let’s discuss why it’s important to protect your ears from loud volume and how you can do just that.
The Ear and Sound
The ear is composed of three parts--the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear—each having their own individual roles in sound reception and processing. When sound waves enter the outer ear they travel through the ear canal into the middle ear where they vibrate against the eardrum.
This causes three small bones connected to the eardrum (malleus, incus, stapes) known as ossicles to move which sends vibrations along to the cochlea in the inner ear. Here these vibrations are turned into electrical signals that are sent along the auditory nerve into your brain where they become what we know as sound.
Long-Term Effects of Loud Volume
When exposed to too much noise for too long your ears will become overwhelmed with sound energy causing noise-induced hearing loss or NIHL.
Depending on its severity this can manifest itself as temporary tinnitus (ringing in ears), difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, or permanent damage such as hearing loss that cannot be reversed without medical intervention like a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
To avoid these risks you should avoid exposure of more than 85 dB (decibels) over 8 hours per day (OSHA) and no more than 140dB over any amount of time (CDC). That’s equivalent to a rock concert or a jet engine taking off!
Protecting Yourself From Loud Volume
So how can you protect yourself from these dangers? It starts with being aware of your environment. Pay attention if you are around loud machinery at work or out socializing at concerts and clubs where loud music might be playing.
If so make sure you wear protective gear like foam/silicon earplugs when around these noises for extended periods of time as well as limit your exposure by taking breaks throughout your day/night out whenever possible. Lastly always remember that if it’s too loud for conversation then it’s probably too loud for your ears!
The Wrap Up
Protecting yourself from excessive noise levels is key when it comes to preserving your hearing health. Being aware of the dangers associated with prolonged exposure can help save you from potential long-term effects such as noise induced hearing loss later down the line while also allowing you enjoy music safely without compromising quality—allowing you listen at lower volumes but still hear every beat clearly! So pay attention when engaging in activities involving abnormally high volumes and always remember--when it's too loud for conversation, it's probably too loud for your ears!
Speaking of ears, looking for some headphones? See our picks below👇