Hearing loss is on the rise, and scientists are still trying to figure out what’s causing it. Some experts cite industrial noise, some blame the earbuds, so many of us wear while listening to music on our smartphones or tablets. But whatever the cause, hearing loss can be irreversible if you don’t protect yourself.

Science, like any other human activity, has its error. The raging battle about the dangers of excessive noise is still intensely fought. On one side are the acousticians and audiologists who insist that loud noise can actually kill you. ”” On the other side are people of common sense who say there may be nothing really wrong with enjoying your favorite music at ear-splitting volume. So what’s up? Is listening to music too loud dangerous or not? Why do doctors keep shouting about protecting your ears at all times? How best quality ear plugs can be a great help? And if listening to music does indeed cause hearing loss, how long do you have to listen to it before you’re screwed? Or is it possible that earbuds are causing more harm than good?”” Here are some tips for keeping your ears safe while you enjoy some of your favorite sounds.

Take breaks from noises

You’re wearing earbuds from your iPhone at the gym. The latest top 40 hit comes through your earphones, and you start bobbing your head a bit. You nod along to the lyrics for a minute or two, but then the song ends, and another begins immediately. About twenty minutes later, you’ve given several songs a listen, and you need a break from the music. But what if there was no pause between your songs? What if they just kept playing one after the other without any musical breathing?

Removing yourself from harmful noise isn’t as simple as turning off a faucet. This is where you need some strategies for your mind to cope with that which it can’t avoid. If sounds constantly bombard you as a result of your job, turn on some music or a podcast to offset the constant droning of machinery or gushing water. Bring earplugs and a few CDs to work for those situations in which music isn’t an option.

Earplugs

Don’t place your hearing in harm’s way. Hearing loss is irreparable and preventable by always wearing hearing protection. You can purchase earplugs to keep out or reduce the intensity of sound, both of which are useful if you constantly find yourself in areas where there are noises around 85 decibels or more. These areas may include firing ranges, airports, construction sites, factories, nightclubs, sports arenas or any other area that has loud noises constantly present. Earplugs can be custom-moulded for your ears to help you hear the sounds even better than without the earplugs.

Extremely loud sounds can permanently damage your hearing in less than a second. This is because they produce sounds that are 10 times the intensity at the eardrum. To give you an idea of how intense that really is, 90% of people in the world cannot hear sounds louder than 120 decibels (dB), which is why concerts are so powerful to us.

Listening to music at low volumes

The louder the noise, the shorter the time period before your hearing begins to suffer permanent damage. This can cause a gradual loss of hearing or immediate ear pain, or hearing loss. Headphone manufacturers recommend keeping your music at a low volume that doesn’t cause discomfort. The bottom line: No matter how old you are, if you use headphones, keep the volume to a minimum, especially if you’re listening to music for long periods of time.

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