Study finds hearing impact of ‘turning up the volume in a noisy place’March 10th, 2011 - 3:00 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 10 (ANI): Do you like to turn up the volume on your iPod or cell phone when you listen to music? If yes, this study may contain an important message for you.
A study from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences explores the potential effects of this behaviour on hearing.
Drs. Hidehiko Okamoto and Ryusuke Kakigi and Drs. Christo Pantev and Henning Teismann from the University of Muenster demonstrated that listening to loud music through earphones for extended periods in noisy surroundings can cause neurophysiological changes related to clear discrimination of sounds, even if the hearing threshold is normal.
The results may support a future auditory assessment plan for long-term portable music player users.
The team examined the brain’s response to sound using MEG (magnetoencephalography), which makes it possible to measure the brain activity without any subject’s behavioural response.
They recorded the brain responses of two groups of 13 young adults; one group had regularly listened to music at full blast, and the other group had not.
Subjects listened to a sound of a specific frequency contained in background noises while watching a movie.
Results showed that the inability to dissociate a sound from background noises was considerably more pronounced in the habitual portable music player users.
“It can be said that listening to music at high volumes burdens the nerves of the brain and auditory system and can cause a decline in the ability to discriminate sounds, even if the usual hearing test results are normal and the subject is unaware of any changes,” said Okamoto.
“It would be better to suppress environmental noises by using devices such as noise cancellers instead of turning up the volume when enjoying a mobile music player in a noisy place.”
The study appears in the journal PLoS ONE on March 2, 2011. (ANI)
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