We all need a break from the humdrum of daily life to relax and do something we enjoy. We like to attend music concerts, watch our favorite team play sports, or simply kick back and listen to our favorite music on our personal audio device. Unfortunately, all of these recreational activities can cause damage to your hearing.
Exposure to unsafe levels of sound, i.e. sound levels exceeding 85dB for extended periods of time can lead to damage to the ears, ranging from anywhere between tinnitus to permanent hearing loss.
Conditions affecting the ears are many. The ringing sensation in your ears may be a result of tinnitus. If you feel overly sensitive to any sound, you may have hyperacusis. If you feel as though the pitch of the sounds you are hearing appear overly shrill or dull, you may have diplacusis. You may have a processing disorder if you find it difficult to follow conversations with background noise present. Lastly, if you have difficulty hearing sounds in the low or high range in one or both ears, you may have temporary or even permanent hearing loss.
We all need to find a space that is completely our own; a space where we can relax and enjoy ourselves after a stressful day at work or school. Many people find it therapeutic to even shoot a few rounds at the firing range, but the use of firearms is actually the leading cause of hearing damage caused by noise! The sound of a gunshot ranges somewhere between 140dB-175dB, which is well above the safe hearing limit of 85dB.
Concerts and sporting events are also known activities that can cause hearing damage, due to the excessive level of noise from crowds and loud speakers during the events. Even bars, pubs, and dance clubs play music at unsafe levels, which can be damaging to your hearing.
Many of us enjoy motor sports. Be it NASCAR, Jet Skis, or motorcycles, any motorized vehicle generates dangerous levels of sound, especially at high speeds. Although this may be thrilling to watch and engage in, it can cause permanent damage to your hearing.
Listening to music seems harmless enough, but to be honest, rarely do we listen to it at mellow volumes. The thrill of blaring music drowning out our sorrow and frustration may seem appealing, but this unsafe level of sound can damage the delicate hair follicles within the inner ear. Over time, this can result in tinnitus and even hearing loss. This is why it is a good idea to turn down the volume to a maximum of 60% of the available volume.
Thankfully, we do not need to stop enjoying our favorite hobbies out of fear of damaging our ears. All we have to do is take a few precautions to ensure that our ears are safe while we enjoy our favorite hobby. Buy a pair of earplugs or earmuffs before attending loud recreational activities such as concerts. When listening to music, invest in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones that you can wear over your ears. This way you can cancel out any background noise to refrain from having to unnecessarily raise the volume, while being able to focus solely on your favorite melodies.
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