How Headphones Damage the Ears?

Believe it or not, headphones can damage your hearing in the same way that things like chainsaws and motorcycles can (Danielle 2015). Chainsaws and motorcycle engines create about 100 decibels of sound. That much sound can start to damage a person’s ears after less than half an hour. An MP3 player at 70% of its top volume is about 85 decibels. Sounds at 85 dB or below is considered safe.

How Does Noise Cause Hearing Loss?

ear-diagram

The ear is made up of three parts that work together to process sounds: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Part of the inner ear called the cochlea contains tiny hair cells. These hair cells help send sound messages to the brain. But loud noise can damage the hair cells. When this happens, the cochlea can’t relay sound messages to the brain as well.

The number of our hair cells is fixed with our birth. The hair cells in each ear are about twelve to fifteen thousand. These hair cells don’t have cell regeneration ability. In the process of growth,  if you lose a hair cell because of noise, the number of hair cells will reduce by one. In other words, turning the volume up and listening for long periods of time can put you in real danger of permanent hearing loss.

References:

http://m.kidshealth.org/en/teens/earbuds.html

https://medicine.stonybrookmedicine.edu/surgery/blog/headphones-and-earphones-can-cause-permanent-hearing-loss-what-you-need-to-know

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