We have all heard at one time or another to turn down the music because it could be causing permanent hearing damage. Most of us, however, are not aware of all the things that cause hearing loss that surround us every single day. To avoid prematurely damaging the hearing long before genetics has the chance to, pay close attention to these top six things that cause hearing loss beyond simply turning down the music or television.
1. Wearing Ear Buds
The sensitive structure of the inner ear was not meant to listen to music at high volumes for extended periods of time. This generation, however, is literally plugged in to mobile technology at the ears. We watch movies on our mobile devices, we listen to live concert streams with our iPods, and we even play video games for hours on end with ear buds on so as to not disturb the rest of the house. According to studies conducted at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, people today are turning up the volume on their MP3 players and iPods to levels that drown out other sounds. These volume levels at which these players are connected are extremely damaging to the tiny little fibers of the inner ear. Loud sounds plugged directly into the ear canal cause the hearing to go through a shift after such loud prolonged exposure. The end result is that softer sounds become more difficult to hear, and we need to constantly up the volumes to enjoy sounds more clearly. Prolonged exposure to excessive noise through ear buds will progressively deteriorate the hearing and result in permanent hearing loss over time.
2. Driving in Convertibles
Driving in a convertible allows the driver and passengers to take in all the beauty – and sounds – of the open road. This can come at a cost to your hearing over time, however. The wind noise that is associated without the protection of a roof over your head can cause hearing damage and hearing loss. The longer you drive in a convertible, the better chance you have of damaging the inner ear. Putting your head next to a lawnmower that is emitting about 90 decibels is not recommended, yet when you drive in a convertible you are exposing yourself to sounds well over that 90 decibels. Studies at Harvard Medical School show that repeated exposure to 85 decibels or more can cause permanent hearing loss. The reason for the hearing issues is because there is zero insulation like that of a normal vehicle. The fragile inner ear is exposed to more noises, including the rushing sound of wind and air in excess of 60 mph.