Let The Music Play (At A Reasonable Volume)

2021-07-17 | Hearing Loss, Patient Resources

Let The Music Play...Quietly!

Whether or not you have your various streaming devices set for auto-play, odds are very good you spend a considerable amount of time streaming music and video in the course of a day. 

There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s a fact of contemporary technology. But to get the most benefit out of any technology, you need to use it responsibly.

In the case of smartphones, tablets, and various portable music players, that means being careful about volume levels. If the volume on your streaming device is set too high, you could do fast damage to your hearing. 

Noise Can Be Dangerous

Noise is so notorious in hearing healthcare circles that it has its own acronym—NIHL (noise-induced hearing loss). 

NIHL is the second-largest cause of hearing loss the world over. Here’s how the culprit works: It is actually your brain, and not your ears, that recognizes sound.

Hearing happens when tiny hair cells in your inner ear turn soundwave data into electrical impulses and then send them to the brain.

Overly loud noises (even melodically musical ones) can literally traumatize those hair cells, damaging them irreparably and even killing them. With each hair cell that is damaged or dies, a bit of your hearing goes with it. Thus, the term “noise-induced hearing loss.” 

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Use Headphones Carefully

To understand the effect of noise, you need to understand something called a “decibel”—the unit of measurement for the amount of pressure a sound puts on your ears.

Anything above 85 decibels puts you at risk of hearing loss. Let’s put that into context: 

  • Your clothes dryer operates at about 60 decibels, so there’s no need to wear hearing protection while doing the laundry.
  • Your gasoline-powered lawnmower, on the other hand, clocks in at around 91 decibels; that level of noise, without hearing protection, can harm your hearing in about two hours.
  • If you drive a tractor, you’re cruising at about 100 decibels, which can damage hearing in 15 minutes.
  • If you hop off that tractor to use a chain saw, you jump up to about 112 decibels, which can harm hearing within just one minute.

What does that have to do with music?

Some streaming devices can put out chain-saw levels of volume, pouring 112 decibels onto your eardrums from about an inch away.

That’s a very effective way to traumatize some of those hair cells we mentioned above. By the way, 112 decibels are 112 decibels, whether you’re listening to heavy metal or a symphony orchestra.

Protecting Your Hearing Is Important, At Any Age

Healthy hearing is obviously essential to communicating but hearing loss has also been associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline, depression, dementia and more.

And if that tempts you to think we’re only talking about later-life difficulties, please think again. Hearing health awareness needs to start early. 

Researchers have determined that any level of hearing loss in early life puts a child at an increased risk of difficulties with language and learning. 

And since research has also found that 9 out of 10 kids and teens regularly use audio-streaming, there is definitely a reason to be concerned. 

And that concern is well-founded: 14 percent of the children in one of the studies mentioned above had hearing loss that could be measured.

It was also found that a child who listened to their music-streaming device only once or twice a week had twice the likelihood of hearing loss compare to kids who didn’t use such devices. 

Some Tips On Listening Responsibly

You don’t have to swear off technology to protect your hearing.

Here are some ideas on how to keep your decibel-intake under control:

  • Use the 60/60 rule. Keep your devices at or below 60 percent of full volume and take a quiet break after every 60 minutes of listening. 
  • Choose headphones over earbuds. Earbuds let background noise get through, which can nudge you to turn up your volume. Headphones seal off your ear canal better, making it easier to stay at 60-percent volume. An even better option: noise-canceling headphones. 
  • Insist on using earbuds? Be sure to use the type that sit inside your ear canal, not the ones that sit just outside the entrance to the ear canal. The inside-your-ear type helps to block background noise and keep your music inside the canal. 
  • Check for a sound-limiter feature. Look into getting a device that either automatically limits your top volume or gives you an alert when you are crossing over into dangerous-decibels range. 
  • Try volume-limiting headphones. There are headphone products for kids that will not go above 85 decibels but shop carefully. There was a study that tested 30 brands and found that nearly half of them weren’t effective. 

Want to know more about protecting you and your loved ones from noise-induced hearing loss? All you need to do is contact us. we’ll be happy to help!

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Chris Arnold - Owner & HIS

Growing up in Kitchener, Ontario, Chris went to Durham and George Brown College. As the owner of Arnold Hearing Centres, he manages all locations, as well as handles all the marketing, reporting, meetings, and makes sure that both the staff and patients have a positive experience. Ultimately, there is a lot of pressure on Chris to ensure he delivers results year after year, but he credits the clinic’s success down to the amazing staff that has now become family. Truly, he enjoys working alongside everyone each day.

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    We’re now seeking someone that wants to join our work family, show us the commitment that we’ll show them and be part of shaping our future, as one of our audiologists.

    To join our team, we care much more about you, your personality, and your career ambitions. From our experience, a great audiologist cares more about people than anything else, they feel a duty to help others, and they’re often willing to go far beyond normal expectations to delight their patients.

    If this is how your co-workers and friends would describe you, we’d like to meet you:

    • Positive attitude, always a pleasure to be around, great sense of humor
    • Friendly, warm, a people person – and comes across the very first time you meet someone, even on the telephone
    • Patient, compassionate, helpful especially with older people. Even temperament, calm, always pleasant, unflappable. Has a knack for being able to turn a frown into a smile
    • Committed, dedicated, a great teammate, pitches in without being asked, puts team accomplishments ahead of individual accomplishments
    • Accurate, detailed, gets things right, double checks their own work, makes very few mistakes
    • Owns it: accepts responsibility, credits others for successes and accepts responsibility for failures. Always finds a constructive way to solve a problem
    • Coachable, doesn’t get defensive, accepts feedback with a positive attitude. Always looking for ways to grow and improve
    • Reliable, dependable, doesn’t just arrive on time: often comes in a little early to make sure they’re prepared for the day; willing to stay late when there’s work that needs to be done

    These statements also describe the people you’ll be working with in our office. It’s the kind of culture we’ve developed, and we’re absolutely committed to maintaining that culture. The person we hire has to be a great fit, and we’re prepared to wait until the perfect match comes along.

    This isn’t just a job: it’s a commitment to a team, serving a real purpose, helping people stay connected with their loved ones and enjoy life.

    If that appeals to you, and the above description made you say “Hey! That’s me!”, then we’d love to talk. We want to see your resume, so send that along! We are so excited to find the right fit for this position!

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