My morning routine is to wake up and get ready for my earliest classes. As I take my 15 minute walk to each class I normally listen to music to bypass the time. My mood for music changes everyday and I change my playlist depending how I am feeling. Do I hear my friends calling my name? No, my music is blasting. That is the only way I roll. My room mate tells me to turn it down because she gets annoyed but my mom tells me to because it is dangerous.
Teenagers have the same amount of hearing damage as their parents but at a much younger age, this is due to Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). A habit of listening to music at a certain level of volume can ruin your future. The noise damages your inner ear and turns into permanent hearing loss. So what is being blamed for this? The invention of earbuds and the rising popularity of them over the past two decades.
I am sure you have all heard a million times that listening to your music at a high volume is dangerous but I am going to stress this again. Once you loose your hearing it will not come back. The lead singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin, has been diagnosed with tinnitus. This is not a disease but it is the symptom of permanent ringing in your ears.
According to the American Osteopathic Association 1 in 5 teens have some form of hearing loss, this rate is 30% higher than it was in the 80s.
How can you prevent this?
- switch to ear phones instead of earbuds
- be aware of how loud your volume is; anything above 100dB (which is typical in most venues) is dangerous
Now if I researched this before taking this class I would definitely change my style of listening to music. I have come to realize that the benefit out weighs the risk. Coldplay’s singer Chris Martin only has tinnitus because he is constantly exposed to extreme conditions with his successful career in his profession. I would much rather enjoy my music loudly and have minimal chance of hearing loss than being a cautious freak. What happens in our society is that a rare occurrence happens, the media over-exaggerates this, and hysteria is caused. Mothers everywhere are telling their children to turn down their volume or to not make that face or it will be stuck like that forever. Based on evidence shown it might not be earbuds causing the hearing loss, it could be a 3rd confounding variable. For example, it could be kids who live in the city,which is a huge portion of the demographic, who happen to listen to music through earbuds, are losing hearing due to normal city background noise. Earbud volume is just a soft endpoint and cannot be the only thing blamed for the hard endpoint of hearing loss. The problem may not be from ear buds but from hanging out in loud bars, clubs, concerts, and sporting events; all habits of our american youth. Therefore, at this very moment that i am writing this post, I am blasting music through my earbuds.