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Your Headphones Are Damaging Your Hearing

Have you noticed that some people who work on construction sites or at airports wear huge earpieces? These are protective headphones that muffle the noise surrounding them. They block out the noise and protect the sensitive parts of the ears from damage.

A blast of extremely loud sound can travel through the ear canal and penetrate the eardrum. Explosions, gunshots, rock concert sound, factory noise and the like will send vibrations into your ear and beat against the eardrums, causing damage.

Now consider this: If you put on your headphones and crank up the volume on your music player, there is a good chance you’ll find yourself deaf for a couple of seconds or minutes. If the volume is too high, you might suffer from what’s called noise-induced hearing loss. This is what Dr. David A. Sherris, chairperson of the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Buffalo, said.

As the eardrum vibrates, it triggers vibrations in the tiny bones in our ears. In turn, these tiny bones will produce rippling waves that will cause the hairs in our ears to move; this movement allows sound to be converted into electrical impulses, which will travel to the brain and tell it what we are hearing. Loud sounds create big waves, which can also damage these tiny hairs. Unfortunately, these tiny hairs will not grow back once damaged.

Repeated or prolonged exposure to loud sounds, ranging from 85 decibels and above, can induce hearing loss. When listened to through headphones, a typical MP3 player can reach volumes as high as 100 decibels.

While noise-induced hearing loss is not likely to lead to deafness, it can lead to permanent ear damage. If you have been using headphones at cranked up volumes and are having a hard time hearing conversations or listening to the TV, you could be experiencing hearing loss. It is best to see an ear doctor and have your hearing checked.

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I´m 61 years old and lost my hearing gradually over many years. Because my hearing loss developed so slowly, I never realized it was happening. But my friends and family sure did. Because of them, I decided to get my hearing tested. Dr. Andrews keeps working with you until you are satisfied. That´s what I like. I haven´t heard this well in years. ~ R. McGreggor

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