Integrative Nutrition Blog

Is Your Music Too Loud?

June 30, 2018

Image via Shutterstock.

One of IIN’s core concepts is primary food – the things that nourish you off the plate, such as spirituality, creativity, and joy. For many, listening to music is one form of primary food nourishment. Music has the ability to inspire our actions, uplift our spirit, and transform our mood in a matter of seconds!

Because of the joy music can bring, it’s easy to want to crank up the volume! But loud music can damage our inner ear and impair our hearing, so it’s helpful to know how loud is too loud.

Noise-induced hearing loss is one of the most common forms of hearing loss, and statistics show that over 600 million people are at risk for losing their hearing from repeated exposure to loud noise. Roughly one in four American adults (ages 20–69) show signs of noise-induced hearing loss.

When we are exposed to excessive noise, the hair cells in our inner ear can be damaged over time. These hair cells are the communication system between our auditory nerve and our brain, and they are crucial for processing sound.

It is recommended that music volume be kept between 60 and 80 decibels to avoid hearing loss. Normal conversation is roughly 60 decibels in volume, so use that as a gauge when listening to your tunes. In other words, if you have to raise your voice to be heard by a friend while listening to music, it’s probably too loud! MP3 players can typically reach 105 decibels in volume, so a good rule of thumb is to keep the level at the halfway mark or below.Of course, as with everything we teach at IIN, bio-individuality plays an important role here. These are general guidelines and everyone’s listening thresholds are different. It’s important to see which volume levels are safe for you and when your music is too loud or too excessive.

Here are a few tips for how to know if your music is too loud:

  • If you have to speak loudly to be heard by people in the same room.
  • If you can hold your headphones at arm’s length and still hear the music.
  • If you hear ringing in your ears after turning off or walking away from the music.

For all you music lovers out there, enjoy your music safely with these simple suggestions:

  • Buy a sound or decibel reader to measure the actual decibel of your music to ensure it’s within the safe range.
  • Wear earplugs when attending loud concerts, especially if you will be close to the stage.
  • Consider investing in headphones that are good for preventing hearing damage.

Enjoy feeding your soul with beautiful and inspiring music, while also taking care of your health and protecting your hearing. 

For more information, check out these resources:

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