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Why Listening to Music can damage your hearing – Audiologist

William Shapiro, clinical associate professor at New York University Langone, says that young people in particular are at risk of damaging their hearing with loud headphones.

He says that one in five teenagers have some form of hearing loss due to noise exposure. In a video produced by Business Insider, the expert explained why this happens.

If hair cells are damaged in any way, we suffer permanent hearing loss or balance degeneration.

In each ear, the inner ear structure called the cochlea – which receives sound in the form of vibrations – has 15,000 hairs. These tiny, sensory hair cells are crucial to helping us detect sound waves – but  are very fragile. 

The hair cells do not regenerate, so damage to them is permanent — a common cause among people with some types of hearing loss.

Dr Shapiro said: 'Much of that noise exposure is from ear buds, if the ear where the individual listens to music at inappropriately high levels.

'An ear bud sits in the ear obviously and the closer the ear bud is to the ear drum the higher the sound pressure and that can damage your hearing.

'So actually you're stressing the hairs in the cochlear and you're shearing them and damaging them. So just increasing sound from three to six DB [decibels] doubles the intensity of the sound.'

Dr Shapiro also reveals the recommended safe level of noise exposure from music headphones.

'If you're using an earbud, a good rule is 60 per cent of the volume no more than 60 minutes a day.'

He also advises people to use noise cancelling headphones.

'A lot of individuals will crank up the volume because they don't want to hear outside noise. 

'Wearing noise cancelling headphones reduces the outside noise which allows us to reduce the volume of the sound we're listening to. So it's very important to keep sound at a low level.' 

Source: Mail Online


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