How Does NIHL Happen?
The causes of Noise Induced Hearing Loss include environmental noise, recreational activities, music and toys that exceed safe levels of sound.
"Scientists once believed that Noise Induced Hearing Loss damages the hair cells (Stereocilia, pictured below) by the pure force of the loud sound vibrations. Recent studies, however,have found that exposure to loud noise triggers the formation of free radicals -- molecules that cause damage to cells and are known to kill hair cells." (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2006)
"Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. The louder the sound, the shorter the time period before NIHL can occur." (National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 2007)
NIHL Is Happening More Often!
The number of reported cases of Noise Induced Hearing Loss has doubled in the last 30 years. This number will increase in the future as the first generation with iPods begin to experience the early and irreversible signs of hearing damage as a result of their headphone habits.
Listening to hazardously loud levels of sound for even short periods of time increases your chance of developing the irreversible effects of hearing loss.