Noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise among the young. Some 65 percent of those with hearing problems are below retirement age. Audiologists believe that part of the problem is the number of gadgets that send amplified sound directly into the ear canal, such as cell phones and MP3 players.
Loud Noises Damage Cilia
Sound is created when noise beats against the eardrum and the vibrations stimulate nerves deep inside the ear. There, fine hair cells called cilia convert the vibrations into nerve impulses, which are transmitted to the brain.
Continued exposure to noise of 85 decibels or more will eventually destroy the fragile hair cells in the inner ear that convert sound vibrations into nerve impulses — the basis of hearing. The volume of portable compact disc players ranges between 91 and 121 decibels, and earphones increase the volume. European iPods have a legal upper limit of 100 decibels, but there is no such limit in the United States.
Damage Happens Quickly
The louder the noise, the quicker the hearing loss. For instance, 100-decibel stereo headphones can cause harm in two hours, and a 120-decibel rock concert damages the ears in only 7.5 minutes. The musicians’ advocacy group Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers (HEAR) reports that 86 percent of musicians and music fans experience hearing problems after a concert.
Chicago Tribune August 14, 2005 (Registration Required)
Dr. Mercola’s Comment:
The methods of preventing this kind of hearing loss are mostly common sense:Limit your exposure to noisy activities, andtake breaks of silence to recuperate. Turn down the volume of your MP3 player. Avoid drugs that can impair your hearing.Researchers have also found that vitamin E can aid in the prevention and restoration of hearing loss. A study found that hearing loss patients who received a treatmentthat included taking vitamin E had a 75 percent hearing recovery rate, whereas those who received the same treatment without the vitamin E had only a 45 percent recovery rate. Another good way to care for the health of your ears is to use the Clenzology Advanced Hygiene System’s Ear Solution, which cleans the ear canal and reduces the building of excess ear wax. The ear solution can be used anytime and is ideal for maintaining optimal health.
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