One of the best things about your sense of hearing is getting to enjoy music. But if you’re not careful, listening to music at an unsafe volume can cause damage to your hearing system. Below the experts at Hearing Systems review how we hear, how loud sounds cause damage and how to enjoy music safely.
How We Hear
Within the inner ear are tiny hair cells known as stereocilia. These cells convert incoming soundwaves into electrical energy that travels via the auditory nerve to the brain to be interpreted as sound. Each of these cells is responsible for a specific frequency.
When dangerously loud sounds pass through the ears, they can damage or destroy the cells. And once damaged, they do not regenerate; the result is permanent sensorineural hearing loss.
How Loud Is Too Loud?
Sound is measured in decibels. In general, any sound over 85 dB can result in permanent hearing loss with enough exposure. Below is a decibel chart with everyday sounds for reference:
- 20 dB – The volume of whispering or leaves rustling.
- 40-60 dB – The range of normal talking.
- 85 dB – The volume of passing highway traffic or a busy restaurant.
- 100 dB – The maximum volume of most headphones.
120-140 dB – The volume of a rock concert at White Oak Music Hall.
How to Enjoy Concerts Safely
As vaccinations begin to roll out, concerts are beginning to be rescheduled. Fortunately, you still have plenty of time to prepare to attend your first show.
Whether you’re watching the concert from the nosebleed section or performing on stage, you risk hearing damage from the loud music playing through the speakers.
Hearing Systems offers musician’s monitors and musician’s plugs that are specially designed to block dangerously loud sounds without compromising sound quality, so you can enjoy your favorite live bands without risking hearing loss.
Safe Listening Through Headphones
When it comes to listening to music through earbuds or headphones, it’s important to keep your hearing health in mind.
Headphones are safer than earbuds because the sound source is further away from your eardrum. Ideally, you should invest in high-fidelity noise-canceling headphones, so you can enjoy the music even in background noise without having to crank up the volume.
For more information about safe listening habits or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call Hearing Systems today!