The Sound of Silence

It seems that today we are surrounded by music and sounds of any type. From listening to music on smartphone, from techno concerts to a simple concert in a bar, our ears are exposed all the time. Although intended to have fun, these actions require to take different precautions! Why should we be active in our listening?

The ear: this high-tech organ!

First of all, it’s right to explain the operation of this amazing organ, which provides us with so much pleasure. It’s composed of three different parts: outer, middle and inner ear. The sound comes by the outer ear (the visible part of the ear) and it’s transmitted to the inner ear through the ossicles of the middle ear. There, the sound is transmitted to the brain. And there is all the danger!

audio-2028515_1280Auditory capital concept.

In the inner ear is located a small organ composed by hair cells that bath in liquid. These cells are vibrating depending of the air pressure: the sound in other words! We’ve got a precise number of hair cells (around 16000) and it’s very brittle! Basically, sounds with too high noise level can destroy them and once destroyed, they will never grow back: this is hearing loss. More than a simple hearing loss, the destroying of these cells brings many other problems: tinnitus (whistling in the ear), hyperacusis (pain in response to the normal sounds of the life).

How to know if you are in a risky situation?

Obviously, going to the library or just reading a book on your sofa is not risky. However, it’s necessary to pay attention to the sound level anytime when you’re stepping in to a noisy environment (a bar, a concert…). According to the noise scale, the risk threshold begins around 85 dB and the danger threshold begins around 90 dB. Most of the time, a level of the sound in a bar with a concert, for example, go until 105 dB, sometimes more! At this level, exposition to the sound during more than 1.5 minute puts you in danger. Today, 16% of the adults in European Union is suffering of a significant hearing loss (more than 25 dB)!


So now, how to protect ourselves?

Obviously, we can protect ourselves from these problems and it’s pretty easy! First, we can (and should) use earplugs to be protected and be able to enjoy the concert serenely. Cheap and easy to use, it’s a very effective means (it can decrease the sound level by 30 dB). Moreover, it’s not complicated to put a pair of this in your pant’s pocket. Also, during concerts it’s not recommended to stay in front of the speakers. The sound will be for sure too loud and also you’ll hear the best sound in the middle of the room, so why not to enjoy this instead? Then, don’t hesitate to take a break sometimes, by going out to have a discussion during few minutes for example! After the end of the concert, it could be great to take a break from noisy places for few hours (or even a day, it’s still better).

Finally, with these few advices, you’re ready to enjoy the concerts you’ll go to in the best way and more – to enjoy during your whole life! And if someone tells you that you look stupid with your earplugs (which will probably and unfortunately happen), why not to try to convince this somebody to save his ears?

Tanguy Payet

Sources: que-cest

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