ASK THE EXPERT
It is often thought that listening to loud music on earphones and headphones damages hearing? How true is that?
KAVYANJALI KAUSHIK, LUCKNOW
Today, one in five teens has some form of hearing loss— which is about 30 per cent higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. Many experts believe this is due, in part, to the increased use of headphones. Listening through headphones at a high volume for an extended period of time can result in lifelong hearing loss for children and teenagers. Even a mild hearing loss due to excessive noise could lead to developmental delays in speech and language. Most MP3 players today can produce sounds up to 120 decibels, equivalent to the sound level at a rock concert. At that level, hearing loss can occur after only about an hour and fifteen minutes. As a rule of thumb, you should only use MP3 devices at levels up to 60 per cent of maximum volume for a total of 60 minutes a day. The louder the volume, the shorter your duration should be.
What is noise diet? How can that help and protect your hearing from future problems?
INDIRA R NAIR, BANGALORE Noise diet is a method of controlling the amount of noise or loud sound that a person is exposed to and limiting the time of exposure. This can be achieved by using earplugs or earmuffs, turning down the volume, detoxing the ears by giving them a 16-hour rest period after two hours in loud environments such as clubs or discos, among other things.
What are some easy-to-follow measures to ensure safer and better listening on earphones?
KAVYA KATHPALIA, DELHI There are various ways in which headphones can be used safely and effectively. Some of the things one can do to ensure listening on earphones does not cause any damage to the ears is to use earphones plug type or headphones, which seal out outside sounds well so lower volumes, are required; keep volumes at levels where outside sounds can also be heard faintly and use high quality recordings which are either 256 kbps or of a higher resolution so that music is more detailed and requires. Dr Dillon Dsouza, Consultant ENT, Head and Neck Surgeon, attached to Jaslok Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Desa’s Hospital, Mumbai