I Can't Hear You!


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    Can you imagine living in a world where music did not exist? Yeah, me either. Upon leaving my room, the essential things I must have on me are -- my cell phone, ID and my headphones (my books too of course).  At some point in our lives, I'm sure we've all had to suffer the harsh reality of leaving our headphones at home - making your trip to the other side of campus a dreadful one. Having your headphones in and playing music is essential for many reasons, but one of its most notable assets is being able to block out the "motor mouths". We've all met that one overly social person who just wants to keep talking about their mothers friends cat that just had five kittens.....meanwhile all you can seem to think about is how much you truly don't care.

            We can all agree that music is great, but it's at a whole new level of greatness when it's playing at abnormal volume levels. However, did you know that something as simple as playing loud music may actually be affecting you internally? In fact, you are putting yourself under several health risks such as hearing loss, Acoustic Neuroma Tumor, Heart Attack Risk and increased levels of high blood pressure. According to stress manger specialist Eddie Chandler, of sixwise.com, "Sounds can literally make you sick. Noise pollution can increase your stress levels and create severe tension in your daily life. It can increase your heart rate, raise your blood pressure and even result in insomnia."

            Sources say that people who engage in loud music are 1.5 times more likely to develop and Acoustic Neuroma Tumor. According to sixwise.com, it is a slow-growing tumor that gradually presses the cranial nerve that senses sound and helps with balance. Although it typically becomes noticeable at age 50 or older, some early symptoms include hearing loss and ringing in the ears. A study published in the European Heart Journal found that men who were exposed to loud music for a long period of time had a 50 percent higher risk of heart attack than those not exposed. Women who had been exposed were at risk, three times the amount of men. Did you know that the effect of loud noise doesn't only come from loud music? Health risks can come from other loud noises such as workplaces, heavy traffic, televisions and even a typical nightclub.

            According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, a safe average noise level for a 24-hour day is 70 db. Here's a list of safe noise levels from sixwise.com:

·         Quiet home: 20 dB

·         Normal talking: 40 dB

·         Ringing telephone: 60 dB

·         Air conditioner: 75 dB

·         Heavy traffic: 90 dB

·         Subway train, honking horns, jack hammers: About 100 dB

·         Typical nightclub: 110 dB

·         Ears register pain: 120 dB

·         Loud music, jet take-off: About 120 dB

            They also made a list of several noise reducing tips:

·         Wear earplugs in noisy places

·         Turn down the volume on radios, personal headsets and TVs

·         Try muting your TV during the commercials, or leaving it off all together and reading a book instead

·         Sound-treat your home by putting heavy curtains on windows, rugs on the floors and sealing all air leaks

·         Consider adding acoustical tile to your ceilings and walls

·         Put on some light music, like the Pure Relaxation CD, to buffer outside noise that you can't control

·         Use sound-blocking headphones to listen to music/TV without the disturbance of outside noises, and without disturbing those around you

·         Look for quieter home appliances

·         Take a drive in a rural area to escape city noise for a day

So, the next time you decide to block out everything mom is saying by turning your music up to the highest level, think first!

2 Comments

Its amazing the health risks we can expose ourselves to without even realizing it. As seen through your blog, are ears are constantly attacked by a variety of sounds. Unfortunately for your fellow headphone users, such as myself, headphones are murderous to the ears. After reading your list of the decibels associated with various sounds, I wanted to find a more exact number that can come from headphones. According to kidshealth.org, at only 70% volume, our music devices slam our ears with up to 85 decibels. I don't know about other people, but I almost always listen to my music louder than that. I always associated listening to music with relaxation, I never even thought that it could be dangerous. I guess listening to some great music isn't worth permanent damage to my ears.
Here's a link to the site I found: http://kidshealth.org/teen/safety/safebasics/earbuds.html#

I take your points.When I was about 10 years old,I began to go to public karaoke.The music playing out of the giant stereo system could get really loud,but at the time when I attended myself to the music,I totally forgot my ears.It seems to me that those who party a lot in packed houses also suffer from enduring exposure of high noise.Though we can borrow the rebellious idea in the song "We Are Young"(actually that music itself is very loud)that we can do everything at young age,even with our ears,I gravely challenge the fetish of wearing headphone whenever going out.It can impair the auditory capacity of ears over time,and when one comes to the point that he could not hear anything until turning the music very loud,he's killing his ears ultimately.

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