Most of us do not realise how little noise it takes to cause a trauma to our hearing. But years of noise exposure can often result in hearing loss.
Hearing experts underline that constant exposure to loud noises is the number one cause of hearing loss, as the cochlea, which is the sensory part of our ears, is damaged as is the hearing nerve, the neural part of our ears.
A report from Australian Hearing, â€Is Australia Listening?â€, predicts that one-in-four people will have hearing loss by 2050 and up to one quarter of those will have problems caused by listening to MP3 players at â€œexcessive and damagingâ€ levels. This represents a 50% increase as today, one-in-six adults have a hearing loss.
Furthermore, researchers have found that hearing damage is common among young adults and that 70% of young people have experienced tinnitus â€“ ringing, buzzing or crackling noises in their ears.
MP3 players most damaging
The report found that MP3 players are among the most damaging new technologies which contribute to â€œleisure noiseâ€, as noise levels from MP3 players often exceed the recommended level of decibels.
Experts stress that it may pay to turn down the noise level a little, even if a future of hearing loss seems a long way off for the individual.
Also, people should remember not to turn the volume on their car CD player or their personal stereo system all the way up. If attending a concert, it is also better to sit away from the speakers.
There are other causes that may lead to hearing loss besides excessive noise exposure. These include aging, diseases, head injuries, some drugs and smoking.