Music is a beautiful thing – it unites people and has the ability to transcend language and cultural differences. People of all ages listen to music – some parents even play music for their babies that haven’t yet been born. However, with all the great things that music helps provide, could listening to it be detrimental to your health?
According to a new study conducted by German researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology-BIPS, that just might be the case. They have found that not only is loud music harmful to the people listening to it, it is extremely harmful to those who are performing. The researchers concluded:
The workplace hazard of hearing damage for musicians, conductors and others involved in musical performance is significant enough to warrant protective measures.
The study looked at date from three German insurance agencies to compare diagnosed hearing problems among musicians and the general population. Of the 2,227 musicians in the study, 10% had some form of hearing loss. That might not sound like a lot, but it is put into a new perspective when you consider that only 8% of non-musicians in the study had hearing loss.
However, this doesn’t just affect musicians. This also affects people listening to music. Just by attending a loud concert or listening to music full-blast with earbuds in could cause damage.
According to this article in the Rakyat Post, research shows teenagers are showing signs of hearing loss earlier than they historically have, and music devices and concerts are to blame.
So what does this all mean to you? Your ears are precious instruments that need to be taken care of. The article suggests purchasing musician-grade earplugs and using them during concerts – whether you are performing or just listening. It also means that you shouldn’t crank the volume all the way up – especially if you are listening with earbuds or headphones.
If you start to experience symptoms of hearing loss – a ringing in your ears or difficulty keeping up in conversations in loud rooms – you might need to get your hearing checked. The experienced doctors at Alexandria Otolaryngology Associates can help you determine if you truly have hearing loss, and can set you on the path of recovery and prevention.