Do you enjoy listening to music at the highest volume level? Be careful as your hearing might become permanently damaged. Read on to find out more.
Have you ever read about stereocilia? It’s a very delicate part of our inner ears, formed by tiny hair cells moved by the sound waves. The movement of these organs creates an electrical signal which is sent to the brain and converted into a sound, fascinating isn’t it? When we are continuously exposed to loud noise, the risk that the stereocilia get damaged is quite high.
Unfortunately, once this happens, the cells will stop sending signals to our brain and we will never get that hearing back, the loss of functionality is permanent! Thus, if you find yourself turning your music up just to hear it better or went to a concert and experienced a buzzing or ringing sound (tinnitus) in your ears afterwards, you could be suffering from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), a condition which arises as a result of prolonged exposure to loud noises.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss should not raise concern just among earphones fanatics, according to World Health Organization, as noise exposure is the main cause of permanent hearing damage in the workplace. If you work in a noisy work environment such as construction, manufacturing or even night clubs, make sure that all measures and protection are in place to reduce such a risk. Have you developed hearing loss while working in a noisy environment without protection? You might be entitled to make a claim for hearing loss compensation.
What’s the safe limit?
Sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). For humans, 85dB is the safe threshold; being exposed at any sound higher than that can result in a permanent damage to your hearing. Measuring dB level is not easy matter as it requires special instruments; here are some everyday examples.
– Normal conversation is roughly 60dB
– Earphones at maximum volume can reach a level over 100dB, loud enough to start causing permanent damage.
– Shower is 70dB.
– Emergency vehicle siren is 115dB
– Airplane take-off is 150dB if we stand 25 meters away.
Hearing Loss is probably the most common occupational disease today. Latest statistic shows that 1 in 6 of the British population suffers from this condition and it is estimated that by the end of 2031, there will be nearly 15 million of people in the United Kingdom.
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