all in your head. Some comments on my article “10 Tips for My Fellow Mass Transit Riders” reminded me of some more dangerous effects of listening to loud music.
Since college, I’ve had this persistent ringing in my ears. I can actually hear it over other sounds in a loud room or even when I’m listening to music via headphones at pretty low volumes.
Can you hear ringing? It may sound like buzzing, or even like a chorus of crickets.
According to Wikipedia’s article on Tinnitus:
Tinnitus can have many different causes, but most commonly results from otologic disorders the same conditions that cause hearing loss. The most common cause is noise-induced hearing loss, resulting from exposure to excessive or loud noises.
There are many treatments for tinnitus that have been claimed, with varying degrees of statistical reliability
The key word there is claimed. The article goes on to list dozens of methods, but keep in mind that most are unsubstantiated methods (i.e. little or no evidence of effectiveness).
Life with Tinnitus
Perhaps you or your child does not yet have a ringing sound in your/their ears, but many of us are on the fast-track to getting it. I don’t know exactly when the ringing in my own ears started, but I can tell you that I can never have true peace and quiet. Even if I’m in a completely silent room, I’ll always have a loud noise distracting my concentration. I can’t escape it. It’s in my head, follows me around everywhere, and no one else knows it’s there.
I don’t know if it’s getting worse or will lead to further hearing damage or even loss, but I’m personally afraid of going deaf. I still listen to loud music sometimes, but nowhere near the amount I did in my early to mid-twenties. I don’t want it to get worse.
So please, turn the music down. If your loved ones, friends or coworkers listen to loud music via headphones (or regular speakers), ask them firmly to turn it down and back up your request with evidence. Unfortunately, though, teens and most twenty-somethings won’t listen to any advice until it happens to them, but at least you can say you tried to warn them.