Tuesday, 5 February 2013

The Pros and Cons of Loud Music

According to the philosophy of a famous reggae artist and hordes of other wailers, music is best enjoyed when played at volumes loud enough to disturb the neighbors. Nearest the speaker box is the best place to be for some dance music fans, which have been known to even sleep inside speakers. Salience among those who disturb their neighbors on a frequent basis regarding the deafening effects of loud music is low.

In spite of neighbors' complaints, these people little realize the harm they are doing to their own hearing. The well being of the community comes first before one's own deafness for law enforcers. Consequently, what has happened is that both the player of the loud music and those within earshot will be without that sense either overnight or over a period of time. Then, there is the truly unfortunate situation that turns into permanent hearing loss, as there are no public education campaigns that would increase awareness of these dangers.

I don't think we have done enough to educate the public about this risk. Occasionally, we are given the opportunity to speak on the topic on the radio. The economy has remained in a slump this past year, making it hard for us to spread the word. Nowadays, louder, undistorted music is channelled with digital technology, which is an even greater threat for hearing.

Then, there is the contribution of frequenting nightclubs. No local research has confirmed the fact touted by British, Canadian, and American campaigns that 85 decibels certainly results in hearing loss. Two out of three youths go to clubs on a regular basis, and of them three out of four of them experience tinnitus afterward, according to a study by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf in Britain and as reported by the Guardian, a British newspaper.

Less than half comprehend that ringing is the body's warning of potential damage, and only two fifths appreciate the fact that this kind of damage cannot be repaired. Fortunately, the ringing disappears within a day in most cases, but continued exposure can end in permanent ringing or even hearing loss. An educational program, "Don't Lose the Music," was launched to inform clubbers and music lovers of these dangers.

Analogous to this program are those run in the US and Canada. Under the American Tinnitus Association, research and campaigns on the effects of loud music are conducted in the US. Canadians also benefit from similar programs. Local experts have treated many cases of hearing loss in young people, in which loud music always shows in their medical histories. Before counting the number of people who suffer from hearing loss related to loud music, this must be proven with experimental studies.


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