How loud is too loud?

As musicians and music lovers, VOLUME is a crucial and pleasurable part of the listening experience. However, without the proper protection, these sounds can have long term consequences.

Injury to our hearing is invisible and painless, don't let that be a reason to neglect your most valuable instrument, your hearing.

we're here to make sure your ears are taken care of.

 
 
 

This is what hearing loss sounds like:

 

THE FACTS:

  • 1 in 3 of hearing losses are caused by loud exposure to sound (including symphonic bands, concerts, and listening to music in headphones)

  • Music induced hearing disorders are permanent

  • Loud sound-induced hearing loss is 100% preventable

  • Over 80% of listeners listen to their personal music devices at risky levels that might cause permanent hearing loss

  • The World Health Organization estimates 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk for hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices and exposure to dangerous sound levels at entertainment venues

  • 74% of musicians report a music induced hearing disorder or a combination of several disorders

 
 

Music induced hearing disorders

Musicians are small muscle athletes. Most musicians don't stop playing due to hearing loss but stop playing due to constant ringing in their ears, hypersensitivity to loud sound, and sound distortion.

 

 

Tinnitus

Ringing in the ears. Tinnitus can be temporary- like when you get home after a concert and your ears are ringing, or permanent- when the ringing sound is present all of the time, regardless of whether you have been around loud sound recently or not. It is typically thought of as a symptom of hearing loss caused by exposure to loud sound. 

 

PERMANENT HEARING LOSS

Injuries to our hearing from loud sound always show the same profile of hearing loss. It does not matter if the sound to which we are listening to is a rock concert, EDM festival, or jack hammer- the profile is the same. Your ear canal is a tube that resonates at a specific pitch, generally between 2000Hz and 6000Hz. When you are listening to loud sound, that pitch is amplified by your ear canal and middle ear cavity which injures your ear's ability to hear in that frequency range. 

Hyperacusis & Recruitment

Once our hearing system is injured, our ability to tolerate loud sound decreases. Recruitment causes your perception of sound to be affected. A small increase in sound level (ex. 5dB) can sound like a 20dB increase. Hyperacusis is when sound levels that used to be tolerable now are painfully uncomfortable to listen to.

 
 

How Hearing Works

 
 
 

Causes of Hearing Loss
 

 

1. Exposure to loud sounds

  • Permanent or temporary hearing loss 
  • Tinnitus - ringing, buzzing, chirping
  • Hypersensitivity 
  • Distortion
  • Diplacusis - inability to find pitch or "frequency smear" 

2. Genetics

3. Medications

4. Viruses and diseases

5. Vascular health

 

Inner hair cells sustain permanent injury from prolonged loud sound exposure

hair cell graphic.png
 
 

Tips for Hearing Health

- Keep up with annual hearing tests! Monitor your hearing for any changes

- Pay attention to both how loud you're listening and how long you are listening for.

- Injury to our hearing from loud sound is a function of both how loud it is and how long you're exposed for.

- Make a habit of using your custom earplugs! They may seem strange at first, but you should think of them in the same way that you think of sunglasses and have them on you most of the time.

 
 
Safe Sound Exposure Limits
 

Reach out to us with any ear and hearing questions that come up, we're here for you!