How living loud harms your ears

How living loud harms your ears

With the media abuzz about football fans breaking sound records just this fall, experts are taking a look at what these loud noises are doing to your ears.

The big game or concert may be fun for the evening, but the loud continuous noise can actually be damaging your ears long-term, according to experts.

A Harvard Medical School instructor of otology, Dr. M. Charles Liberman said, in a press release, that with recurrent noise exposure people are damaging their ears considerably weakening their hearing functions as time goes on.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) when people are exposed to prolonged loud sounds, the sensitive structures in our inner ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

The NIDCD reports that nearly 15 percent of Americans ages 20 to 69 have hearing loss due to exposure to loud sounds or noise at work or in leisure activities. Experts urge people who are attending loud events to properly protect their ears with earplugs or earmuffs meant to reduce the sound.

The NIDCD warns that when you are exposed to a loud noise over a prolonged time period, you may progressively lose your hearing, sounds may become muffled and it may be hard to comprehend what others are saying. NIHL can be detected with a routine hearing exam.

The following tips from the NIDCD can help you avoid NIHL and other hearing problems due to loud noises:

  • Identify the known noises to cause harm to ears.
  • Use earplugs and other ear protection.
  • Be aware of harmful noises around you.
  • Guard children’s ears.
  • Spread the word to family and friends to know when to protect their ears
  • Get a hearing test if you have symptoms of NIHL.

So the next time you are attending a loud concert, football or hockey game, you may think twice about plugging your ears.

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About the Author

Sarah Scroggins
Sarah Scroggins

Sarah Scroggins, health enews contributor, is the director of social media at Advocate Aurora Health. She has a BA and MA in Communications. When not on social media, she loves reading a good book (or audiobook), watching the latest Netflix series and teaching a college night class.