Did you know your earphones are making you deaf? Here’s how.
Fact: Roughly 1.1 billion people worldwide within the age group of 12-35 have been found to be at an increased risk of developing hearing problems.
Listening to loud music on handheld devices using earphones has become a common trend among youngsters these days. You might find it very relaxing to plug in your earphones and escape into your own world of music, but you need to know that this can cause serious damage to your ears. The worst part: you won’t realise your ears are being damaged until it’s too late.
So, exactly how is loud music damaging your ears?
Continuous exposure to loud music from earphones or other sources results in a medical condition known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), which can be associated with irreversible damage to the ears resulting in deafness.
When you hear loud music for a considerable amount of time every day it affects your hair cells (nerve cells responsible for sending sound signals to the brain) negatively, so that their ability to respond to sound decreases. If this keeps on happening for many months, eventually the hair cells are damaged beyond repair. These cells cannot be regenerated, making you permanently deaf.
How loud is too loud?
If your ears are exposed to sounds at 95, 100, 105, 110 and 115 dB (decibel, the unit used for measuring sound) for 4 hours, 2 hours, 1 hour, 30 minutes and 15 minutes each day respectively, your ears are at risk of getting severely damaged. Also, playing music at 120 dB or above can damage your ears instantly. You can have a realistic idea about the relation between decibels and sounds you commonly hear by referring to this list:
– 30 dB: soft whisper
– 75 dB: busy traffic
– 90 dB: noise of a motorcycle at 25 feet
– 100 dB: noise of a farm tractor
– 140 dB: jet plane taking off
Moreover, if you experience the following symptoms regularly, there’s a high chance that you need to get your ears treated soon:
– A ringing sound in your ears when you are at a quiet place, which vanishes after a few minutes
– You need to raise the volume of TV or music to the fullest to hear it properly
– You have difficulty in hearing people talking at a distance of just 3 feet
How can you prevent the risk of hearing impairment?
When you’re using earphones, keep the volume low. Also, using in-ear headsets or noise reduction/cancellation earphones also helps as it lets you hear the music distinctly at lower volumes by cutting out background noise.
Are you experiencing severe hearing loss or turning deaf? To get back your normal hearing, you should undertake a cochlear. It is a small device which is planted in your ear via a surgical procedure. It sends impulses to the auditory nerve directly and as a result, sound signals are carried to your brain. Such an implant does not make you hear like normal again, but it helps you with sounds and knowing sounds around you such as telephones, alarms and doorbells.
How Does Cochlear Implant Work?
Cochlear implant is meant for adults and children who have sensorineural hearing loss. This is a condition which damages the tiny hair cells in the inner ear known as the cochlea. Your hearing gets impaired when these are damaged. A cochlear implant sends signals to the auditory nerve directly by skipping the damaged hair cells.
The device has two distinct parts. One part is the receiver-stimulator which is placed under the skin via surgery. The other part is the speech processor, which is worn around the back of the ear like a hearing aid. The outside device is, however, bigger in size than a hearing aid.
The receiver is placed under the skin, behind the ear through a small incision and it gets connected to electrodes. This is put into the cochlea of the inner ear. The surgery takes about some hours to be completed.
Two weeks after the surgery, the speech processor is fitted by the doctor. You will have to wear a microphone behind your ear. The processor can be connected to the microphone and worn around the ear. It can also be worn at any other place of the body, depending on your age and lifestyle.
Advantages of Cochlear Implant
The major advantages of a cochlear implant are as follows:
You may be able to hear speech at an almost normal level.
You may understand speech without the help of lip reading.
It will be easy for you to talk on the phone and listen to the television.
Your experience of listening to music will improve.
You will be able to pick up different sounds starting from soft, medium to loud sounds.
You can also control your own voice in a better way, which will make it easier for others to understand you.
A cochlear implant can be a life changing device if you suffer from serious hearing loss. The results are not the same for everyone and vary from person to person. Some people may benefit more than others.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!