WHAT IS MUSIC-INDUCED HEARING LOSS (MIHL)?

MIHL is caused by sounds that are too loud, for a long or even short period of time. These sounds can damage a part of the inner ear and may cause permanent hearing loss. When loud sound levels are ignored, this hearing loss can get worse over a lifetime, possibly resulting in deafness.

Music-induced hearing loss occurs when tiny hair-like structures that sit on top of hair cells in the inner ear (stereocilia) are damaged by noises that are too loud and/or last for too long. When the stereocilia are damaged, the hair cells can’t send information about the sound to the brain anymore. This causes MIHL.

TINNITUS

In a lot of cases the beginning of tinnitus isn’t noticeable in everyday life. People who have tinnitus can consciously observe the problem in a silent room or while wearing earplugs – usually they will hear a high-pitched noise. This is because the hearing cells for the high frequencies are the first suffering hearing cells within the inner ear.
They have to endure the strongest biological stress.

Many people know the so-called ‘club tinnitus’. This form of tinnitus occurs when the hearing is exposed to a lot of noise and for a longer period of time. As a result, you hear a ringing noise or whistle as soon as you enter a quiet environment. After such a strong stimulation, the auditory system has difficulty to rest. These sounds usually disappear after taking rest. Those who don’t take responsibility and are regularly exposed to too much noise, increase the risk of permanent tinnitus. For all of them the best self-help is to protect the suffering hearing cells from noise/music with earplugs. The inner-ear expert Dr. L. Wilden is always advising his tinnitus patients to use earplugs as much as possible, even in the daily life. The longer you pay attention to your ears by treating them well, the better are the results of your self-therapy.

For more detailed information we forward you to Dr. Wilden his free to download E-book.

WHO IS AFFECTED AND WHAT ARE THE FACTS?

Exposure to harmful noise can happen at any age. People of all ages, including children, teens, young-adults and elderly people can develop noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). A case study shows that about 10% in Britain, 10% in the Netherlands and even 15% in the USA (26 million Americans) have reported some form of hearing loss caused by loud noise. While 20% of children (between 12 and 18 years old) show early signs of NIHL. Accordingly to the World Health Organization approximately 360 million people (5%) world wide are affected, costing an annual 750 billion international dollars!

NIHL and MIHL is the most common occupational disease under musicians and employees within the rest of the music industry, and with the growing industry the numbers of victims are growing as well!

Love your ears

Hearing is our precious ability to live a happy life and to enjoy music. It’s important to keep it at its best! So why are we collectively ignoring our health when we go out?

Here are some key tips to reduce and to prevent the chances of hearing damage and to take good care of your ears:

CONSCIOUSNESS

It all starts with becoming conscious about sound levels, so called decibels (dB(A)’s). This is a measurement tool to indicate the loudness of sound. For human hearing the scale is between 0 and 140 dB(A)’s. Below is a list of different levels of sound and the maximum time limits before you are at risk:

The humming of a refrigerator

45dB

The humming of a refrigerator

MP3 player at its maximum volume

105dB

The humming of a refrigerator

Table conversation

60dB

[safe]

Club sound systems

Over 110dB

[direct risk of permanent hearing loss]

Heavy city traffic

80dB

[direct risk of permanent hearing loss]

Festival/Rock concerts

Over 120dB

[direct risk of permanent hearing loss]

Street drill

95dB

[15mins per day]

As you can see, the risk of partying a full night without taking action is a big risk to get hearing damage or tinnitus.

How to measure the dB’s around you?
Technology is your best friend! There are multiple ‘Decibel or Sound Meters’ for your smartphone available for Android and iPhone. Try it out and get an idea.

DECREASE YOUR VOLUMES

In the club or at a festival: find your sweet spot! Search for a comfortable place away from the speakers. Some people love it, but speakers are not made to hug or to be used as a temporary sleeping place.

When using your phone, Ipad, Ipod, old school Disc or Walkman, reduce the volume. Never listen to music at its full capacity!

USE EARPLUGS

On this, we can be short and clear: use certified earplugs with a filter!

As you have seen in the sound level list, the sound systems in clubs easily reach levels where the risks of MIHL or tinnitus are inevitable. We advise you to get used to go clubbing with earplugs and use them always keep your hearing safe.

REST

We understand that a night out can easily turn into a few days of partying. However, we advise you not to be exposed to loud sounds for too long. Give your ears, head and feet a well-deserved rest. Your hearing and body needs time to recover. Just remember the last time you had a beep or ringing in your hearing. If you are lucky it has gone away after a while, but if not; welcome to the tinnitus club.

BECOME A MOVEMENT AMBASSADOR

Love others around you! Be part of the movement and use your knowledge to advice your friends about their behaviour. Show them that you care about their health.

GET TESTED

If you have or think you have MIHL/NIHL or tinnitus, get yourself tested. The doctor can consult you on what to do after. He or she might forward you to an audiology centre for audiological research and tinnitus rehabilitation. Keep in mind that a recovery by laser therapy (if at all possible) is a long process and shouldn’t be taking lightly.

THE SOLUTION

A conscious mind automatically leads to the insight that self prevention is the key to hearing conservation. We state that certified filtering hearing protection should be present, affordable and easily available in places where loud music is played. Therefore we made it our mission to provide you with the best solution for protection on the island!

We do this together with our local distribution partners and two world leading earplugs companies Thunderplugs & ACS Custom. Giving you two options: universal and customized earplugs.

Do you need advice about which hearing protection you should choose, send us your question(s).
If you want to buy hearing protection online: Click on the logo of Earplugs On Ibiza to go to their shop!