Its a common warning to Music listeners on Smart phones. But People are ignoring this very simple yet profound advice and as a result are permanently damaging their hearing while listening to loud music on headphones, an expert audiologist has warned.

William Shapiro, clinical associate professor at New York University Langone, says that young people in particular are at risk.

He says that one in five teenagers have some form of hearing loss due to noise exposure.

If hair cells are damaged in any way, we suffer permanent hearing loss or balance degeneration.

In each ear, the inner ear structure called the cochlea – which receives sound in the form of vibrations – has 15,000 hairs. These tiny, sensory hair cells are crucial to helping us detect sound waves – but here is the thing they are very fragile. The hair cells do not regenerate, so damage to them is permanent — a common cause among people with some types of hearing loss

The hair cells in our cochlea do not regenerate, so damage to them through loud music is permanent (stock image)
Usage of head phones is common among young people




Dr Shapiro said: ‘Much of that noise exposure is from ear buds/phones that we use on music devices, if the ear where the individual listens from is exposed to music at inappropriately high levels it can be damaging.

‘An ear bud sits in the ear obviously and the closer the ear bud is to the ear drum the higher the sound pressure and that can damage your hearing.

‘So actually you’re stressing the hairs in the cochlear and you’re shearing them and damaging them. So just increasing sound from three (which is halfway max Volume on most phones) to six (Full max volume)DB [decibels] doubles the intensity of the sound.’

Dr Shapiro also reveals the recommended safe level of noise exposure from music headphones.

‘If you’re using an earbud, a good rule is 60 per cent of the volume no more than 60 minutes a day.’ (very important)

He also advises people to use noise cancelling headphones.

‘A lot of individuals will crank up the volume because they don’t want to hear outside noise. (That is not even safe as you are then oblivoius of dangers around you like an approaching Vehicle, attacker or a HOLE on the road people are trying to get your attention to)

‘Wearing noise cancelling headphones reduces the outside noise which allows us to reduce the volume of the sound we’re listening to. That way you have the best of both worlds. You can listen to your music and at the same time hear the important things you need to hear from the outside.


Overall, it’s very important to keep sound at a low level.’


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