If you have been within 6 feet of me this past week you would have heard me talking about my "loud experiences". It seems that my ears are getting more sensitive than in the past??? I will give you a brief summary of the situation:
We were in a local ice cream place on a Saturday night. This place could not have been bigger than 25' by 25'. They had a nice guitarist playing and had her hooked up to a mic and speakers. The music was consequently resonating throughout the place. It was nice music but it totally trumped any family conversation or even logistical conversation that may be happening.
So often I hear cars with the music so loud that I hear the words clearly several cars away. While I think as an American you should listen to any music you want I also don't want to be forced to listen to your choice. While I am sitting in the car at a stop light I am a captive audience with little choice to do anything other than listen to it when it is that loud.
Aside from the 1st Amendment issue there is a hearing health issue that I wonder how many of us are blowing right past. If you ask anyone who has hearing issues (and you will probably have to ask them loudly, in a certain tone and without additional background noise) they will tell you that living with hearing deficits is a frustrating existance. Thank goodness for hearing technology today as the hearing aids are at least not such an eye sore and so cumbersome to handle. They also have better technology to block out or filter out background noise. Still they have to insert the device(s) into their ears every morning if they want to enjoy conversation, listening to music, the TV or the birds singing outside.
So what is my point? The point is that much of our hearing loss can be prevented. Unless you have had chronic infections, brain damage or a congenital condition, hearing loss is often caused by exposure to chronic lound noises. 100% of noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. The following was copied from www.medicinenet.com. It gives you some points of reference:
Regular exposure of 110 decibels (and higher) for more than one minute risks permanent hearing loss.
No more than 15 minutes of unprotected exposure of 100 decibels is recommended.
Prolonged exposure to any noise above 90 decibels can cause gradual hearing loss!
•Rock concerts and firecrackers are 140 decibels!
•Loud bass in cars (when other cars can feel the vibration and hear the noise) and snowmobiles are 120 decibels!
•A chainsaw is 110 decibels
•Wood shop is 100 decibels
•Lawn mowers and motorcycles are 90 decibels
•City traffic noise is 80 decibels
•Normal conversation is 60 decibels
•Refrigerator humming is 40 decibels
So people, do your ears a favor and dial down the volume! Unplug!
Listen to crickets more often! Silence can inspire. You might actually hear your inner self and it might actually have been trying to tell you stuff for a while now!
If you choose to not dial down take heart that this is an issue that has top research priority in the regulatory bodies...which means we hope to find better answers for hearing loss for you.
Take care and I hope you all hear some beautiful things this weekend! kt