Turn the volume down!

Aize Hassan, Photography editor

Dangers behind loud noise


Tinnitus is a condition that is characterized by the constant or temporary ringing in one’s ear, which can be caused due to a build up of ear wax, underlying disease, head injuries, or most likely, exposure to loud noise.

   Noise induced tinnitus happens when the hair cells that sit in the middle ear are damaged by exposure to very loud sounds or prolonged loud sounds. These hair cells are responsible for relaying sound information to your brain, when damaged, they are unable to do their job and instead, produce a ringing noise.

   This condition comes with other symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, loss of sleep, hearing loss, and headaches. The worst part about tinnitus from loud sound is that there is no known cure as of yet, so if it is permanent, it will never go away.

   Why is it so important for people to learn about? The general population often does not think about how easily ear damage can occur. It is a big problem amongst frequent concert-goers that do not know how to protect their ears correctly from the prolonged noise they listen to.

   Venues do not care about how loud the music is from the speaker, instead, it is up to the people attending to protect their ears. This is why musicians are often seen wearing in-ear monitors, which not only help them with their rhythm, but also protect their hearing.

   No one should come back from a concert with prolonged ringing in their ears, which is why it is important to wear ear plugs, specifically high-fidelity ear plugs. These ear plugs keep out damaging vibrations from hitting the ear and still manage to keep the quality of the concert, just muffling the sound a bit. Many good quality ear plugs can be found online with research and Amazon has many great options.

   Concerts are not the only things that cause noise induced tinnitus. The second most common thing that may cause it amongst teenagers is the high volume coming off of headphones. Generally, the frequent use of headphones causes hearing loss which will become more prominent the older one gets. Combine frequent use of headphones with frequent, prolonged, loud volume coming out of those headphones, and that is when tinnitus comes in. To avoid this, do not go over half way on the volume bar on an electronic device when using headphones for a long time.

   Tinnitus affects about 15 to 20 percent of the population and even though that number makes it seem like something rare, it can still easily happen to anyone and it can really affect the quality of one’s life.

   Simple things like laying with the side of your head pressed into a pillow or reading a book in a quiet room can become unbearable. It can also cause a fast decline in mental health, especially when it is permanent rather than temporary. Knowing that the ringing will never stop and that it may get worse with age could cause anxiety and even depression.

   Tinnitus can be cured if it is due to an underlying issue, for example, jaw problems. Noise induced tinnitus cannot, and it can be very difficult to get used to. There are some treatments that have come up over the years but none of them are guaranteed to work, which is why it is better to be safe than sorry.