Playing music loudly is certainly one way to annoy the neighbors. But is it dangerous? There are certain situations where loud music can in fact be damaging to our health. Below are just some of the biggest dangers of listening to loud music.
Our ears are very sensitive to loud noise. Prolonged exposure to noises over 85 db can quickly lead to hearing loss. If you often experience ringing in your ears or a dull ache in your ears after listening to loud music, it could be a sign that you’ve already caused damage. By taking a hearing test, you can determine whether you have developed hearing loss. Getting a hearing aid fitted could be necessary to restore some of your hearing.
Tinnitus is a continuous ringing or humming sound in the ears which you cannot get rid of. Prolonged noise exposure – including loud music – is a common cause. Tinnitus can be temporary, but there are other cases where it can become permanent, which can negatively affect people’s lives in many ways from causing insomnia to disrupting concentration while working. Fortunately, there are techniques that you can use to mask tinnitus and reduce it in order to make it more bearable.
Listening to loud music could be a dangerous distraction in some situations. Many car accidents have been linked to listening to loud music – the music can distract you from hazards on the road (particularly audial hazards like sirens and horns). You should also be careful of listening to music loudly on headphones while walking around – many pedestrians are hit by cars because they don’t hear them coming while crossing the road.
Increased stress levels
Some studies have found that loud music can calm our nerves when we are angry. However, this is not the case with everyone. For some people, it can be a negative emotional trigger, causing increased stress and anger. Many people who experience road rage can become more frustrated when listening to loud music – quiet music can be much more calming in these situations when you are already overstimulated.
Is it time to turn down the volume?
The volume of your music should not be so loud that it causes ringing in your ears or blocks out all other sounds.
There are decibel meter apps that can tell you if your music is exceeding 85 decibels. Many phones and music devices meanwhile now come with warnings to tell you when the volume may be too high. Use this technology to adjust the volume when necessary.
As for listening to music in the car, a good sign that you are listening to music too loudly is the fact that you cannot hear the engine or road at high speed. Make sure that you can hear these noises through the music.
In live music settings, there is often nothing you can do about the volume. However, you can still protect your ears by wearing earplugs. There are specialist earplugs that can reduce the volume while maintaining clarity. Look out for these earplugs if you go to lots of concerts and gigs.
This is a contributed post.