There is nothing like a seriously great tune, right? The right song at the right time can lift you up, it can fill out a space in our heart, it can give a voice to your saddest and your sweetest moods and it can transport you to a different and a better place. It doesn’t matter who the singer is or what the song is – and it’s the same whether we are lovelorn and alone or rocking out at a party – music makes life better. The place of music in our lives is so easy to take for granted but it is so important to us all.
Photo Credit | WLODI
But like everything else in life that’s great, too much of a good musical thing can have a down side. There’s a growing problem in the US and elsewhere with young adults damaging their hearing with their music. If you have a regular headphone habit, you need to know that too much volume can be every bit as bad for you as too much of anything else. And the trouble with hearing damage is that it doesn’t get better.Photo Credit | NEOVAIN
The way we listen to music has changed since our parents’ day – speakers and discs have evolved into earphones and streaming. But the biological bottom line hasn’t changed, our ears are still sensitive, delicate things. The temptation when it’s just us and our ear pieces – and no-one else is going to be disturbed – is to just max up the volume. It’s a way to block out the rest of the day and to squeeze every last drop out of the music. And we use headphones more today than our parents ever did.
But that temptation can do serious damage to the tiny hair-like structures of our inner ear. It’s not damage you can see, and it’s not damage that you will be immediately aware of, but the damage will be there all the same. And it will affect your ability to hear forever – no-one wants that. It doesn’t matter that headphones don’t produce that much sound, the fact that they stream it direct into our ears means they are effectively every bit as loud as it seems to us when we are listening.
If you ever get a ringing in your ears, that’s a warning sign. That’s the sound of your ears complaining. It’s the sort of thing that you shouldn’t just laugh off. And it’s not just headphones that can cause that ringing sensation – loud music in clubs or at gigs can be every bit as damaging.
This isn’t meant to be one of those nagging ‘do as I say’ kind of articles. It’s just meant as a quiet word of sisterly advice. Our hearing is a precious, precious thing. The last thing we should do is to treat it too casually. There is too much seriously beautiful music in the world for that.