In fact the answer is yes, headphones might be very harmful for your ears.
A group from the University of Leicester lately proved that sound louder than 110 intensity cause damage to some singular type nerve cell outside layer, which in return can cause tinnitus (basically a active or humming in the ears – and here’s my opinion that it just made things sound ‘a tad tinny’) and also provisional deafness in some cases.
According to medical medical news today.com, that reported on the University’s findings, the myelin sheath may be a type of outside layer that protects the nerve cells that connect the ears with the brain. Any sound over a hundred decibels begins to wear away this coating, meaning that the indicators will finally stop getting to the brain. Given time, the myelin sheath will usually (but not always) cure itself and reform, resulting in the damage only being temporary. Still, it’s a thing to think about.
As for more lasting damage, well, the facts are instead startling. According to TIME magazine’s Laura Blue,
“Hearing loss is more common than ever before. About 16% of American adults have an impaired ability to hear speech, and more than 30% of Americans over age 20 — an estimated 55 million people — have lost some high-frequency hearing”.
These surprising figures were put forward within the ‘Archives of Internal Medicine’ journal and first published in ’08. Following this publication, Blue interviewed Brian Fligor, who was, at the time, the director of diagnostic audiology at Children’s Hospital Boston. Inside the interview, Fligor said,
“If you’re using the earbuds that come with an iPod and you turn the volume up to about 90% of maximum and you listen a total of two hours a day, five days a week, our best estimates are that the people who have more sensitive ears will develop a rather significant degree of hearing loss — on the order of 40 decibels (dB). That means the quietest sounds audible are 40 dB loud. Now, this is high-pitched hearing loss, so a person can still hear sounds and understand most speech. The impact is going to be most clearly noted when the background-noise level goes up, when you have to focus on what someone is saying. Then it can really start to impair your ability to communicate”.
Therefore, the query now results in being, what are you able to do to lessen the danger?
Sam Costello of About.com suggests turning down the amount, which is fairly obvious, really. However, (s)he also suggests accessing the ‘volume control’ in your iPod or device and decreasing the maximum volume setting (synch it to the pc for more such options), and listening for shorter durations of time and switching from earbuds to ‘over the ear’ phones. Earbuds are the most precarious headphone sort, actually.
Just for the record, the typical American iPod can produce about one hundred fifteen decibels, that is reminiscent of attending a reasonably loud rock concert (although not only a Motorhead gig obviously – now that is a band which almost guarantees complete deafness for at least a couple of days afterwards, trust me).
However, the excellent news is that even if you’re inside the EU, your iPod is restricted to 100db maximum output by law. Although you’re still at risk if you switch the volume all of the way up and listen to all of it day long, that risk is noticeably fewer on our side of the pond.