Headphones - the unrecognized danger: ENT doctors warn against permanent sound and too many decibels
With the first rays of the sun, many people want to be active outdoors. Whether cycling in the fresh air, jogging in the morning or swimming by the lake - MP3 players or music cell phones with headphones and favorite band are becoming increasingly common. But most underestimate the health effects of the sound system on their hearing. Contrary to all assumptions, not only the volume, but also the duration plays a role in possible damage to the hearing. This is now pointed out by specialists from the HNOnet NRW, an association of resident ENT doctors from North Rhine-Westphalia.
"If music fans expose their ears to high sound levels for a long time, the hair cells in the inner ear are under-supplied with nutrients and thus temporary hearing loss," explains Dr. Uso Walter, CEO of HNonet NRW. Normally, the cells recover and hear normal again at the latest the next morning at the latest. However, they permanently sonicate their ears and do not allow them to rest, the hair cells die and are irretrievably lost. "However, this usually does not immediately manifest itself in a noticeable hearing problem, but can only be measured with special tests," emphasizes Dr. Walter. However, many adolescents in particular not only listen to beats and the like on headphones, but also go to discos and pubs, to concerts or to the radio all day. That adds up. In addition, some people always turn the level up to the limit and far exceed reasonable values. The sensory cells survive 80 decibels for up to eight hours a day without damage. At 88 dB there are only four hours left. At 94 dB - which corresponds to a normal MP3 player - the damage begins after an hour. The hearing cells withstand a noise level of 105 dB for just under five minutes without losses. A value that the devices set according to easily achieve. "At the latest when a buzzing occurs or the feeling of cotton in the ear arises, the plugs have to go out," advises Dr. "These symptoms are a warning sign and indicate that the hair cells are suffering."
Basically, ears also need breaks. Anyone who gives his or her hearing cells the opportunity to restore their metabolic balance and does not permanently exaggerate it in terms of volume need not fear any permanent damage. However, if, despite all caution, there is persistent beeping, ringing in the ears and / or feelings of numbness, it is essential to consult an ENT specialist. Such symptoms indicate a sudden hearing loss, in which ear, nose and throat doctors must take measures to promote blood circulation and thus prevent unpleasant consequential damage such as tinnitus or permanent hearing loss. (pm)
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