You wouldn't stand next to a jackhammer and nod your head, yet millions of music fans are doing the equivalent for hours on end, according to the latest research. That is, listening at volumes exceeding 100dB, with heavy bass to boot, thanks partly to an onslaught of bigger, more serious headphones. And report after report keeps pointing to near-certain, mass hearing loss ahead.
The white earbuds seem innocent compared to today's headgear, and here's where this gets really scary. According to the latest survey, just released by the UK-based Action on Hearing Loss, 80 percent have no idea that loud music leads to hearing loss or tinnitus. And, 83 percent pointed to already-developed symptoms of temporary tinnitus and a 'ringing in their ears'.
Which means, we're in a breeding ground of older, partially deaf adults. And apathy seems like the biggest enemy. Even more dramatically, nearly 20 percent said they'd only be a 'bit worried' if they developed permanent tinnitus. "Next year, it will become EU law that all new mp3 players have a maximum default volume setting of 85dB," Action on Hearing Loss director of Public Engagement Emma Harrison relayed. "But the research revealed a staggering one in three people would override this setting even though this could result in damaging their hearing or developing tinnitus."
Call it alarmist research, though this is an organization clearly trying to solve a problem. And part of the issues is that the worst offenders are younger listeners, a group that typically disregards health warnings from adults and tends to don a cloak of invincibility. Combine that with the loudest technology ever experienced in the history of mankind, and... you get the idea.
Here are some of the other findings of the study:
83% have had ringing or buzzing in their ears.
19% are only worried 'a bit' about it.
87% listen to personal music players.
76% are not aware of the EU regulations that from 2013 all mp3 players have a default maximum setting.
34% would override the setting.
80% would change their behavior if they knew about the dangers of listening to loud music.
I'm Old Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Unfortunately, the high volume doesn't effect everyone the same. Some people can listen to 100+db all day w/o the slightest problem. Those that get ringing in the ears don't want to admit they can't hack it until the ringing never goes away and then it is too late. My ears are ringing continuosly from playing and rehearsing with a loud band in very small venues and practice spaces. I can no longer listen to music through ear plugs for more than a minute or two. So no more mobile devices for me
CMM Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Sensory adaptation occurs when one is exposed to unchanging stimuli, for example 100dB, for a long period -the individual is less likely to notice the extent of the loudness as the ear adapts to the sound pressure level. I really doubt that ANYONE could go for a day exposed to 100dB without the silica (the sensitive hairs in the cochlea, which do not grow back once damaged) in the ear being effected, in particular if one is situated close to the sound source. The louder the sound (100dB is loud about the level of a motorcycle) the more damage can happen; however, long exposure to anything under 75dB (about the level of a dial tone) is very unlikely to cause damage (remember the dB increases logarithmically).
MM Tuesday, May 22, 2012
The worst aspect for me (As one who already has gone deaf), is I will be stuck with hundreds of these stupid people who think loud music is 'Life' and won't bother them. How am I supposed to put up these fools ? If an vote was taken in the deaf community tomorrow we wouldn't have them with us..... our deafness was not caused by stupidity, we have a full time job coping with our loss now without propping these self-inflicted deaf idiots up too. Take it from me, most will not take a blind bit of notice about turning it down either.
@williambamf Tuesday, May 22, 2012
I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!
@ronstrew Tuesday, May 22, 2012
@tunestub Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Loud today gone tomorrow.
@skifta Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Well, apparently we're all going deaf.
@icr_ecords Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Save Your Ears, folks.
@dromusic90 Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Hearing loss is an issue that young people will have to deal with.
TheFuturist Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I'm from the future and I'm not deaf. I just choose to be deaf to some of the morons on this forum who have no idea what in the hell they are talking about. Peace.
@fireplayer Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Enjoy music! But enjoy it safely...
@inxu Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Use earplugs people!!
@EmilyJNovak Thursday, May 24, 2012
I hope medical scientists are starting to work on a solution now, because I'm definitely on track to be deaf by age 35.
@sunsetj Thursday, May 24, 2012
Jonathan Jaeger Thursday, May 24, 2012
If you're in a band or you go to loud rock concerts, do yourself a favor and invest $100-200 in musicians earplugs. The quality is unparalleled compared to normal foam earplugs. You get them molded to your ears once and you select the dB level amount you want to minimize (15-25dB is good) with special filters. Now you won't have that crappy, muffled bass sound of normal earplugs, but a smoother frequency range that's enjoyable and doesn't leave you with ringing ears after a concert.
Hugh Thursday, May 24, 2012
I have a constant buzz in my ears and believe me, you don't want it. I can still hear very faint sounds however, as they are different from the buzz so I can distinguish them. But the buzz drives one a bit nuts when trying to go to sleep.
Versus Thursday, May 24, 2012
Maybe deafness is the brain's last desperate attempt to protect itself from the insipid "music" to which most listeners subject themselves.
Visitor Friday, May 25, 2012