There are countless articles written about the dangers associated with listening to loud music and hearing loss. It seems like there is at least one new headline each week warning against the adolescent and adult use of earbuds and headphones. Yet, I’d guess most of the warnings fall on “deaf ears”.
Now that AC/DC has cancelled their remaining tour dates due to Brian Johnson’s hearing problems, more has been written about other music icons who also have hearing-related issues (read the story here).
You might remember from one of my earliest posts that it was after attending an outdoor concert that I experienced ringing in my left ear and subsequently found out that I had mild to moderate hearing loss. I sometimes listened to music with headphones or earbuds, but not regularly. I’ve attended my fair share of indoor concerts as well, but would have never thought I was at any higher risk for hearing loss than anybody else.
The messages are all very clear today – loud music/noise can damage your hearing. So the million dollar question – why does it damage the hearing of some people more than that of others? I haven’t found any studies that can explain this. Think about it for a second. Aren’t all members of a band exposed to the same amount of loud noise? There have to be some genetic factors at play that predispose some people to be more at risk for hearing loss. I’m left with more questions than answers on this topic.
What I do know is this. We live in a very noisy world and most of us don’t take the precautionary measures available to protect our hearing.
Hearing loss isn’t as easy to correct as eyesight problems. Glasses can restore our eyesight to a normal state. Hearing aids only amplify sound, and sometimes hearing loss also results in sound distortion. No hearing aid can fix noise distortion. I haven’t enjoyed listening to music for nearly 3 years now. That’s something I wouldn’t wish upon anyone!
Today’s takeaway message is simple – start paying attention to your hearing and what your body might be telling you. If you notice some ringing in one of your ears, think about if you have had some loud noise exposure recently. It could be a warning sign that you don’t want to ignore. If you think you might have some hearing loss, have your hearing checked and consider hearing aids if indicated. They aren’t just for old people and I can assure you that it’s much easier to adjust to using them the younger you are.
Stay tuned for more on my hearing loss journey! Tomorrow is my cochlear implant activation day at Vanderbilt in Nashville!!!