26 September 2012

Unawareness: Loud music can damage your hearing

A British study reveals that eight out of ten have not considered that they can damage their hearing or get tinnitus from turning up their music.
Unawareness: Loud music can damage your hearing

The charitable organization Action on Hearing Loss carried out a survey involving 1,000 Britons. Surprisingly, 80% of them did not know that it can damage your hearing to listen to loud music.

Even though 83% of those asked answered that they have experienced temporary tinnitus or “ringing in the ears”, they did not know that loud music could be one of the reasons that they experience the symptoms of tinnitus such as ringing in the ears.

Neither did the participants know that EU regulations coming into effect from next year say that all mp3 players must have a default maximum setting of 85dB. Usually, the sound levels in mp3 players can reach volumes in excess of 100dB.

Three out of four of the participants said that they would override the 85dB setting.

Like standing next to a drill

“That is the same as standing next to a pneumatic drill,” says Emma Harrison, director of public engagement at Action on Hearing Loss. “While most people can't stand to be next to a drill for very long, many people spend hours listening to music at the same dangerous level,” she says.

Listening to music at a high volume on an mp3 player, means putting your hearing at risk, and your hearing can deteriorate over time. Instead, Emma Harrison would like to have people think about how they listen to music and do it in a way which is safer for their hearing.

Key figures from the study

  • 83% have experienced tinnitus or 'ringing in their ears.
  • 19% worry a little about it - the rest do not worry about tinnitus.
  • 87% listen to music on mp3 players or similar devices.
  • 76% do not know that EU regulations say that mp3 players must have a maximum volume of 85dB as a default setting.
  • 34% would override the 85dB setting.
  • 80% would change their listening behaviour if they knew how much they are damaging their hearing by being exposed to loud music.


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