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Sound That Kills Sound

Don’t Let This Warning Fall On Deaf Ears

Have you ever being riding on the train, maybe taking a nap, or quietly reading a magazine or a book, and at the same time noticing that you also been involuntarily listening to a music coming out of another person’s headphones? A person may not even be sitting next to you – he or she may have been standing all the way at the other end of a car, minding their own business, but the music they listen to reaches your ears. Sometimes you can’t hear it well enough to distinguish one artist from another (not that you want to), but you can hear the beat pattern loud enough for you to kinda tell what style of music has been listened to – you know – fast or slow, techno dance or heavy metal…

While it may be distracting, and even frustrating for some of the passengers to have no choice but to listen to a noise coming from a stranger’s iPod, that is not what I’d like to talk about here.

The mere fact that I can hear any sound at all, that is coming from the audio device mounted on somebody else’s head, screams the fact that what is happening between that music transmitting piece of equipment and its owner’s ears is not even almost healthy. And I’ll tell you why.

We have these tiny hair cells in our ears that are responsible for our ability to hear well. Without those hair cells our brain won’t be receiving a very important signal – sound. Listening to loud music causes these hairs to flatten up. And though they will usually bounce back if exposed to a loud noise for only a short period of time (like at the concert, for instance), in case of being bombarded with sound over 90dB over a long period of time, your ear hairs become weaker and, eventually, get damaged permanently – they won’t ever re-grow.

Put plainly, listening to a loud music may, and gradually will make you deaf. Any noise above 90dB is harmful for our hearing, and causes noise-inducted hearing loss (NIHL). While we can’t eliminate all noise pollution from our life (sounds of street, industrial noise, construction activities, to name a few), we can do something about our music listening habits. And it’s not the style of music we are listening to – it’s excessive amount of time and volume at which we choose to listen to it. So, to prevent NIHL, don’t listen to music non-stop and at maximum volume.

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Comments on: "Sound That Kills Sound" (20)

  1. […] to read  Dina-Marie Oswald’s GAPS – My Experience  posted at Dimes2Vines.   In Sound That Kills Sound, Glasha explains how loud sounds affect our health. Lastly, nubi atun presents How to improve […]

  2. I can relate…However, the noise I have endured falls under the categories of “annoying” and “harassment”..Please View my entry Nov 2, 2010 entry “For the Sound of Silence I will raise my mighty voice”…Believe me, I have learned to cherish the moments that I hear the birds chirping….Situation still pending.

    • I’ve read the post you referring to, and left a comment. I really think you had been more than patient under the circumstances. I wish people were more considerate of your pleas, so that it would not have to come for you to going bananas for days, and then having have to call the police. I am sorry you had to go through this.

  3. I am glad that I do not listen to my music through ear buds. I do, however, listen to a lot of music in the car and at high levels. I have noticed my hearing is not what it once was just in the past five years. Hopefully when I get older they come out with invisible hearing aids.

    • I hope it won’t come to any kind of hearing aids for you – ever! But if you think about it – there’s a whole generation of young people – slowly but surely – is marching its way to deafness… Sad…

      • Well, in that case maybe everyone will be talking louder and not hearing correctly. I won’t even notice I have lost my hearing. Also, I did take three years of sign language, might be able to put it to use. lol

      • Well, again – hopefully, it won’t come to that. But maybe by then we’ll develop ability to read each other’s minds and won’t need words to communicate… But what about music? I can’t imaging my life without music at all!

  4. So glad to hear someone post on this topic. Teenagers are suffering mild hearing loss in greater numbers thanks to those tiny ear buds. It’s best to limit them to less than an hour a day and at lesser volume, something most people probably don’t do.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it!

    • Would not it be nice if music devices would just shot down in one hour if the user had been listening to a music that is too loud? This way teenagers would be more mindful of the volume to be able to continue listening to their iPods.

  5. my youngest son sang and played in a heavy metal band for several years Origin the last group he sang for–i am surprised he can hear at all

    • Yes, musicians are over exposed to loud music. Being a musician myself, I know firsthand that there is no way around it – when you are on stage – monitors are so loud… And at the studio – wearing headphones is a necessity, which deliveries the noise straight into your ear. I am trying to keep the volume as low as possible though to preserve my hearing abilities for as long as possible. I hope you son does the same. Thank you.

  6. I worry about this. I listen to my iPod at work a lot, mostly to drown out my co-workers. When I find myself turning up the dial too much, I know it’s time to just shut it off and do my best to drown out the chit-chat going on in the background. I do listen mostly to podcasts instead of music and have the kind of earphones that loop over the ear, so hopefully I’m not doing irreparable damage to my ears. I think most days I have my earphones on for about 3 hours.

    • My advise, keep the volume of your iPod low, and to deal with co-worker’ chit-chat, just scream at them real loud: “Would you please be so kind and shut f*^!ing up! LOL

      • I wish! These people work under a different manager than I do and he is part of the problem. I usually do keep the volume low, but if the chit chat gets too loud, I just go on break. 🙂

      • I was just kidding;).

      • LOL! Yeah but I’ve had that thought on more than one occasion to stand up and tell them to STFU because some people are actually trying to, you know, do some work? It’s annoying stuff too… this team of people actually had a 30 minute conversation about how to slice pie one time. Slicing pie! Apparently there are at least 6 different ways to slice pie because each of them went into detail about they slice a pie.

      • And, apparently, that is what they are getting paid for – to exchange ideas about the best ways of slicing a pie! LOL

      • LMAO! That is the truth!

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