Noise Action Week is coordinated every year by Environmental Protection UK. The week is an opportunity to raise awareness of the cost of noise to the health and well being of communities and individuals.
We want to discuss headphones and earbuds, these are everywhere - but that doesn't mean they're safe for continual use. Using earbuds and headphones can cause lasting damage to your hearing if you listen to loud music for prolonged periods of time.
Headphones don’t have to be extremely loud to damage your ears, even listening to headphones or earbuds at a moderate volume can damage your hearing over time. Your ears are not just damaged by the loudness of noise, but by the length of exposure. The duration of the exposure matters just as much as the volume. This is why it is important to not go to sleep with your headphones in, you will do damage without knowing.
When sound waves reach our ears, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is transmitted to the inner ear through several small bones, where it then reaches the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid-filled chamber in your ear that contains many thousands of small hairs. When sound vibrations reach the cochlea, the fluid inside vibrates and causes the hairs to move, louder sounds cause much stronger vibrations, which cause the hairs to move more than usual.
When you listen to sounds that are too loud for too long, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration. Loud noises can cause the cells to bend or fold over, this is what causes the sensation of “temporary hearing loss”. The hair cells take time to recover from extreme vibrations caused by the loud noise.
In some cases, however, the cells never recover. They may be too damaged to function normally any longer and this leads to lasting hearing loss. This type of noise-induced hearing damage is almost impossible to recover from. No cure exists for repairing a damaged inner ear.
If you have recently suffered from noise-induced hearing loss then book your FREE hearing consultation here.
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