Music Paid At Cost Of Hearing

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Many a wailer, including one famous reggae artist, is of the persuasion that the louder the music, the better, especially when they rouse the anger of the neighbors. Dance music fans, on the other hand, feel music closer is better, going to such lengths as sleeping inside the speakers. However, what many persons who listen to loud music consistently do not realize is that in addition to disrupting the tranquility of the neighborhood, they may well be on the way to a stage where they are unable to disturb even themselves.

Eventually, they will lose the battle to deafness, even as neighbors' complaints serve as warning signs. The welfare of the community comes before the individual's hearing for law enforcers. Depending on the volume, everyone within earshot of the music will suffer varying lengths of deafness. For the unfortunate, permanent loss awaits, especially as there are no campaigns to teach the public of these risks.

Personally, I think more should be done to inform the public. On our part, we talk about these dangers on the radio. However, we haven't done anything this year due to the stress on the economy. With digital technology, higher, undistorted volumes are attainable today, making the threat of mass hearing loss even greater.

Increasing numbers have gotten into the nightclub scene, which also contributes to hearing loss. The British, Canadians, and Americans have been warned of the danger of noise 85 decibels and above, but here has been no such research or campaign. Two out of three youths account for regular clubbers, of which three fourths experience ringing in their ears after a night's fun, according to the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in Britain, as reported by the British newspaper, the Guardian.

Merely two out of five are aware that tinnitus is irreparable, and less than half are aware that this ringing precedes real damage. In most cases the ringing noise disappears within 24 hours, but prolonged and repeated exposure to loud music can result in permanent tinnitus or hearing loss. An educational program, “Don't Lose the Music,” was launched to inform clubbers and music lovers of these dangers.

Programs of the same sort are being run in the US and Canada. In the United States, the American Tinnitus Association conducts research as well as public education campaigns on the hazards of loud music. In Canada, there are similar programs. Local experts deal with numerous cases of young people with hearing loss from loud music. Because no research has concluded that deafness can be caused by loud music, no corresponding epidemiological studies can be conducted.

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