The Tinnitus Effect

It’s easy these days to get lost in music.

A lot of us use it as an opportunity to drown out the noises that surround us. Regardless of what the sounds around us are, be it construction work, an annoying co-worker, the voices in your head even, we often seek refuge in the bliss of music.

It is easy to get carried away within it though.

And whilst most times I joke, there are a few things that I take absolutely seriously.

Working in an audio company, my ears are often succumbed to the tones of high frequencies, intense bass and Michael Jackson.

This is a detriment to your health, and no, I’m not just talking about the King of Pop.

It is absolutely paramount that you take care of your ears or you may have to yield to the incurable death of sound; Tinnitus.

Known to cause unhappiness, frustration and pain, Tinnitus has been the source of depression and in intense cases; suicides, due to its unrelenting nature for millions of people Worldwide.

Like I said, this is no joke.

Much of the time, Tinnitus will disappear. It will be irritating for a while, the same way a room spins once you’ve laid down after a night out painting the town in wine, but eventually it subdues and you’re back to normal.

It’s very common after being exposed to high volumes and a bass that makes your organs vibrate and can occur if you listen to music at dangerous volumes on a daily basis.

The problem with Tinnitus though, is that whilst it normally disappears, it can just as easily stick around forever, should you not resolve the issue.

The buzzing, humming, grinding, hissing or whistling noise you hear after a concert, forever. Like being inebriated and waiting for the room to stop spinning, but it never does.

But, it’ll never happen to you right?

Wrong. Tinnitus can happen regardless of age. It affects around 6 million people in the UK alone, with 600,000 of them experiencing it to a severity that affects their quality of life.

And it doesn’t just occur through repeated exposure to loud noises either.

Tinnitus can happen naturally as you age, through ear infections or ear wax build up.

With music being so available in todays society more and more people are becoming affected, in particular, young people.

With headphones and earphones acting as a statement as well as a medium for listening to music, everyone’s looking for louder, deeper, higher, intense sounds, all out to penetrate your ears and into a state of Hyperacusis.

During exposure to music, damage occurs to the microscopic hair cells found inside the cochlea. These cells respond to mechanical sound vibrations by sending an electrical signal to the auditory nerve. Different groups of hair cells are responsible for different frequencies. If enough of these cells are damaged, it results in hearing loss.

Sound is measured in decibels or (dB) and once a sound reaches 85 dB it can cause permanent damage.

To give you an idea of how loud that is, a typical conversation occurs at 60 dB.

When listening to music through earphones/ headphones, with the sound at maximum volume you can cause permanent damage after just 15 minutes.

Once Tinnitus strikes you’ll likely notice that your hearing is not as good as it used to be, or that you’re more sensitive to every day sounds.

If this happens or you hear repetitive humming sounds that don’t seem to dissipate, arrange an appointment with an ear doctor.

Whilst we’re on the subject, arrange an appointment anyway.

Or succumb to a life without sound.

 

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