A bil­lion risk hear­ing loss from loud mu­sic

Lesotho Times - - Health -

train­ing, says ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist and trainer Marta Mon­tene­gro.

That’s be­cause your mus­cles con­tain both type I (slow-twitch) and type II (fast-twitch) mus­cle fi­bres. Type I fi­bres con­trib­ute to en­durance per­for­mance. Type II fi­bres are more pow­er­ful, and their “fast­twitch” ca­pa­bil­i­ties help you power through high-in­ten­sity ex­er­cise or strength train­ing.

Dur­ing your day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties (like walk­ing, talk­ing, sit­ting at a desk, etc.), your type I fi­bres are con­tribut­ing to the bulk of your ef­forts. But you re­ally have to work to get your type II fi­bres to switch into gear.

So when you take a break from ex­er­cise, your type I fi­bres are likely still be­ing used, help­ing to pre­vent them from break­ing down. But some of your type II, fast-twitch fi­bres may be rarely, if ever, used if you aren’t work­ing out, Mon­tene­gro says.

That may ex­plain why type II fi­bres tend to at­ro­phy more quickly than type I fi­bres, she says. In other words, your max bench press will suf­fer be­fore your 10K time does when you’re slack­ing. If you’re tak-

AT­LANTA — “Hey dude -- can you turn your mu­sic down?”

If any­one says this to you while you’re wear­ing your ear­buds, take note: You are prob­a­bly en­dan­ger­ing your hear­ing. More than one bil­lion teens and young adults are at risk of los­ing their hear­ing, ac­cord­ing to WHO (that’s the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion, not the rock band).

It’s not just old folks who suf­fer hear­ing loss. Just by lis­ten­ing to mu­sic at what you prob­a­bly think is a nor­mal level, or hang­ing out in loud bars, night­clubs and mu­sic and sport­ing events, you can per­ma­nently dam­age your hear­ing.

By analysing lis­ten­ing habits of 12- to 35-year-olds in wealth­ier coun­tries around the world, WHO found nearly 50 per­cent of those stud­ied lis­ten to un­safe sound lev­els on per­sonal au­dio de­vices and about 40 per­cent are ex­posed to dam­ag­ing lev­els of mu­sic and noise at en­ter­tain­ment venues.it doesn’t take much time to dam­age your hear­ing at a sports bar or night­club. Ac­cord­ing to the WHO, “ex­po­sure to noise lev­els of 100 db, which is typ­i­cal in such venues, is safe for no more than 15 min­utes.”

You can’t get it back Once you lose your hear­ing, it won’t come back. Rap­per Plan B and Cold­play lead singer Chris Martin know that all too well. They both suf­fer from tin­ni­tus, hear­ing loss that causes a per­ma­nent and ir­ri­tat­ing ring­ing in the ears, be­cause they didn’t pro­tect their hear­ing. Now they’ve joined forces with a Bri­tish hear­ing loss as­so­ci­a­tion to warn oth­ers.

“I suf­fer from tin­ni­tus,” says Plan B on ac­tion­hear­ingloss.org. “When I first de­vel­oped it, I thought it was trains rush­ing by ing a break from strength work or high-in­ten­sity in­ter­vals, you’ll no­tice a huge dif­fer­ence when you fi­nally do go back to the gym.

En­durance ath­letes aren’t en­tirely out of the woods, though. When you per­form regular car­dio, your type II mus­cle fi­bres grad­u­ally change from type IIX to type IIA, Mon­tene­gro ex­plains.

Type IIA fi­bres are key to en­durance per­for­mance: They are pow­er­ful, but don’t tucker out as quickly as IIX ones, mean­ing they can help power your long runs. When you take a break from your long runs and rides, this es­sen­tially re­verses, and your per­cent­age of type IIA fi­bres de­creases, while your IIX fi­bres in­crease, she says. So pre­pare to tire out way faster.

Breaks aren’t all bad Be­fore we ter­rify you into head­ing to the gym right now, know that it’s ac­tu­ally good for you to skip work­outs from time to time. In fact, if you train hard, tak­ing a break can ac­tu­ally help im­prove your strength, mus­cle devel­op­ment and aer­o­bic fit­ness, says cer­ti­fied strength and con­di­tion­ing spe­cial­ist Brad Schoe- my house as I live near a rail­way line. It was re­ally loud and an ex­tremely high pitched ring­ing in my ears. I now have to wear spe­cial earplugs when I go to bed to help stop my ears from ring­ing.”

“Look­ing af­ter your ears is un­for­tu­nately some­thing you don’t think about un­til there’s a prob­lem,” says Martin. “I’ve had tin­ni­tus for about 10 years, and since I started pro­tect­ing my ears, it hasn’t got any worse (touch wood). But I wish I’d thought about it ear­lier.”

Turn down those ear­buds When it comes to per­sonal lis­ten­ing de­vic- nfeld, as­sis­tant edi­tor-in-chief of the Strength and Con­di­tion­ing Jour­nal.

Days off can also im­prove your men­tal fit­ness. “Your body and mind both need time to re­cover for over­all health and in or­der to achieve op­ti­mal per­for­mance,” says Ting. “Fail­ing to rec­og­nize this and train­ing too hard can lead to fa­tigue and, iron­i­cally, un­der­per­for­mance, the so-called over­train­ing syn­drome.”

If you’re sore more than 72 hours af­ter a work­out, you’re feel­ing ill, or your fit­ness progress is stalling, it may be time to back off. How long should your break last? “There’s no hard and fast rule for how long a ‘break’ from ex­er­cise should be,” Ting says. “It may be as short as a few days, but it’s im­por­tant to re­al­ize as well that it can also be up to one to two weeks with­out any sig­nif­i­cant detri­ment or loss in pre­vi­ous fit­ness gains.”

Just re­mem­ber that tak­ing a break from ex­er­cise doesn’t (and shouldn’t) equate to glu­ing your butt to the couch and Net­flix-bing­ing. “Tak­ing up some light ac­tiv­ity that isn’t part of your typ­i­cal train­ing reg­i­men, such as yoga or even a long walk or leisurely bike ride, can es, the level of dam­age you can cause to your ears is di­rectly cor­re­lated to how long you lis­ten and how loud the sound. “Un­safe lev­els of sounds can be, for ex­am­ple, ex­po­sure to in ex­cess of 85db for eight hours or 100db for 15 min­utes,” says WHO. Eighty-five deci­bels isn’t all that loud. Ac­cord­ing to the Palo Alto Med­i­cal Foun­da­tion, it’s about the level of city traf­fic that you’d heard from in­side your car.

Some 360 mil­lion of us have al­ready suf­fered mod­er­ate to se­vere hear­ing loss, ac­cord­ing to the UN Health Agency World­wide. While that num­ber does in­clude fac­tors out of our con­trol, such as aging, ge­net­ics, birth de- fects, in­fec­tions and dis­ease, about half of all cases were avoid­able. That’s why WHO has launched the Make Lis­ten­ing Safe ini­tia­tive. Part of the cam­paign is to en­cour­age man­u­fac­tur­ers to cre­ate au­dio safety fea­tures on de­vices and then ed­u­cate con­sumers on how to use them. WHO is also call­ing on gov­ern­ments to cre­ate and en­force recre­ational noise leg­is­la­tion.

“Par­ents, teach­ers and physi­cians can ed­u­cate young peo­ple about safe lis­ten­ing, while man­agers of en­ter­tain­ment venues can re­spect the safe noise lev­els set by their re­spec­tive venues, use sound lim­iters and of­fer earplugs and ‘chill out’ rooms to pa­trons,” says WHO.

In the end, it’s up to each of us to pro­tect our own hear­ing. The good news is that it’s easy to do. When it comes to your per­sonal au­dio de­vices, such as your smart­phone:

— Turn the vol­ume down. Don’t go above 60 per­cent.

— Wear noise can­cel­ing ear­buds, or bet­ter yet, head­phones.

— Take “lis­ten­ing breaks” or only lis­ten for just an hour a day

— Get an app for that. Down­load a smart­phone app to help mon­i­tor safe lis­ten­ing lev­els.

And the next time you go to a bar, night­club, sports event or con­cert, use ear pro­tec­tion. Martin does.

“Now we al­ways use moulded fil­ter plugs, or in-ear mon­i­tors, to try and pro­tect our ears,” says Martin. And his kids never go to a con­cert with­out big, noise-can­celling head­phones. — CNN

Dam­ag­ing lev­els of noise also come from spend­ing time in loud bars or sport­ing events.

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