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Hearing Loss - At Risk With Use Of High-Volume Portable Music Players

Growing numbers of people enjoy listening to music on portable music players or cell phones, and many tend to turn up the volume, especially in noisy surroundings.

PRLog - March 12, 2011 - HAUZ KHAS, India -- Growing numbers of people enjoy listening to music on portable music players or cell phones, and many tend to turn up the volume, especially in noisy surroundings. In a study, researchers explore the potential effects of this behavior on hearing.
The researchers demonstrated that listening to loud music through earphones for extended periods in noisy surroundings can cause neurophysiological changes related to clear discrimination of sounds, even if the hearing threshold is normal. This auditory abnormality concerns "the vividness of sounds" and cannot be recognized by the usual hearing test in which subjects are examined using a series of individual tones in a silent environment. These results may support a future auditory assessment plan for long-term portable music player users.

The research group examined the brain's response to sound using the biomagnetism measurement device MEG (magnetoencephalography), which makes it possible to measure the brain activity without any subject's behavioral response. They recorded the brain responses of two groups of 13 young adults; one group had regularly listened to music at full blast, and the other group had not. Subjects listened to a sound of a specific frequency contained in background noises while watching a movie. The inability to dissociate a sound from background noises was considerably more pronounced in the habitual portable music player users. This difficulty cannot be detected with the current standard hearing test, which yielded the same results in both groups.
The real business of translating vibrations into what our brains understand as sound takes place behind the eardrum, in the inner ear. Behind the eardrum is the inner ear. This is where the cochlea reacts to the vibrations transmitted by the tiny bones of the inner ear and converts them to signals that go directly to the brain.
At normal volume levels, the sensitive hairs in the cochlea wave back and forth, relaying information on to the brain. Excessively loud sounds hit these hair cells like a tidal wave crashing into a coastal forest — basically, hair cells break and their nerve connections get damaged. Extended exposure makes it worse. In fact, only three hours of too-loud headphone listening can be more harmful than exposure to the sound of an explosion at close range.
Accordingly, It can be said that listening to music at high volumes burdens the nerves of the brain and auditory system and can cause a decline in the ability to discriminate sounds, even if the usual hearing test results are normal and the subject is unaware of any changes. It would be better to suppress environmental noises by using devices such as noise cancellers instead of turning up the volume when enjoying a mobile music player in a noisy place.
Contact Details:
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E-32, Hauz Khas Market
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Visit: http://hearingaidsdelhi.com/
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Center for Hearing Aids is the leader in the field of custom hearing aids, complete ear check up for proper audio perception, hearing aid accessories, all types of hearing aids services and fittings.
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Source:Center for Hearing Aids
Phone:+91 9810074489
Location:Hauz Khas - Delhi - India
Industry:Health, Medical, Science
Tags:hearing loss, High-Volume Portable Music Players, hearing aids, mp3, noise, hearing problem
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