When was the last time you were using headphones? Chances are, it’s no more than a couple of hours ago. Trying to be fully immersed in our favorite tunes, we turn the volume up ‒ and give more chances for noise induced hearing loss to come. Keep reading to find out why it’s getting closer and more dangerous with every other song you listen to.
The dangers on your doorstep
In the world that’s getting louder every single second, it’s hard to imagine doing anything without some background sounds. Big cities never sleep, and even small towns have been picking up on this tendency in the past couple of years. Noise pollution is one of the most serious environmental health-threatening factors, with something as simple as city traffic endangering your hearing. A power lawn mower, a random motorcycle swooshing by the neighborhood, a dishwasher ‒ exposure to all these can possibly give you ear problems in the future.
And how do most people cope with noise pollution? You guessed it ‒ they try to muffle it with music in the headphones. “The louder, the better” seems to be the motto of today’s world ‒ but at what cost?
The cost of turned up volume
In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to listening to loud music in their headphones. Around the world, dealing with unaddressed hearing loss costs 750 billion US$ a year.
How would you know if there was something wrong with your hearing? The best way to find out is by visiting a specialist, of course. However, it’s possible to take a small hearing loss test at home by interviewing yourself with some specific questions.
Hearing loss test at home
If your answer to all following questions is “yes”, you might want to book an appointment with a doctor:
- Do you feel that others’ speech is muffled, and do you ask them to repeat what they said more often than before?
- Have you noticed that it becomes harder to keep up with a conversation in a noisy place like a restaurant?
- Can you hear the person when they’re talking to you from another room?
Advice to keep your ears safe
Favorite music playing in headphones really helps create a special atmosphere where you feel safe and isolated from annoying outer stimuli. But in order not to harm yourself, it is better to buy special noise canceling earplugs. This way there’s no need to turn the volume up to maximum to drown out the sound of passing cars.
No music will top the noisy reality, but no one said you can’t adapt to it safely!