By Jay Clark
An article by Luisa Dillner for TheGuardian.com discusses the danger of continuous exposure to loud music or noise. Dillner explains how rock concerts generating up to 120 decibels of sound can destroy the hair cells in the ears of those standing too close to the speakers, which can result in permanent deafness. Fortunately, wearing earplugs can spare you that.
"Taking earplugs to a concert may seem counterintuitive. You want to hear the music don't you? But last week rapper Plan B and Chris Martin from Coldplay launched a campaign to warn music fans that loud music can cause permanent hearing loss." The Coldplay star admits to have been suffering from tinnitus—noise or ringing in the ears—for the past decade, which led him to support this campaign.
According to medical specialists, tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom of a possibly-serious issue with the ears. Despite Martin's success in the music industry, this is an issue he'll have to endure for the rest of his life. He explains that there can be no other reason for it than his many years of exposure to loud music; this underscores the importance of wearing concert ear plugs.
The most common cause of deafness is noise-induced hearing loss. Your risk is related to how loud the noise is, how close you are to it and how long you're exposed to it. A normal conversation is around 65 decibels (db); under 75db your ears are safe. But continuous exposure (eight hours a day) to noise over 85db (equivalent to a heavy lorry passing nearby) will damage your hearing permanently.
As explained by Dillner, the ears consist of hair cells or nerve ends that transform sound into electric signal that the brain can interpret. When an extremely loud sound enters the ear, these cell can break apart and cause deafness. Unfortunately, unlike the majority of cells that go back to their original form when healed, the nerve ends will remain the same, making the condition permanent.
Your ears are more important than the enjoyment you experience at concerts or events with loud noise. However, as long as you wear protective ear plugs,you can keep attending such events without having to risk your hearing. Just make sure they come from reliable providers like Ear Peace.
(Info from: Should I wear earplugs to concerts?, TheGuardian.com, May 13, 2012)