February 19, 2011

I HEART ROCK: may not be as bad for the ears BY VHINA SISON

I am a fan rock music! I love listening to rock music and even way back in highschool I was fond of listening to heavy rock music from my favorite bands like evanescence, paramour, My chemical romance, chicosci, greenday etc. I kinda like keeping the volumes up for a better experience of the music. 

Although I am very much aware that loud music can cause hearing damage especially if there is long, frequent exposure to this “loud noise”. These loud noises can cause degeneration of hair cells. However what I am more interested in is temporary hearing loss which is also known as temporary threshold shift. Sensitivity to sounds can be shifted and may cause an upward shift in doing so. This can be dangerous to an extent in that it may lead one to suffer more serious hearing damages, especially if frequent experiences of having so occur.
In an interesting note however, although I know it is likely to be in my case, I found an article that says that subjective factors also play an important role in Temporary Threshold shift upon hearing noise or music.
2 groups of the subjects, wherein one group indicated a liking for pop/rock music and the other one indicated a dislike for pop/rock music, were both exposed to noise and music, pop/rock music. Using audiometry and also some questionnaires to assess subjective factors in the study, proper measuring temporary threshold shifts were executed.
Results show that the subjects who expressed preference for the music they are exposed to exhibited less TTS ( temporary threshold shift) as compared to those who disliked the music. TTS was greater in those who expressed dislike for pop/rock music. 

This may show a slight hope for those people who are avid fans of pop/rock music. I am afraid that        having been listening to this kind of music over the past years may have damaged my hearing abilities ( and this may be true to an extent). However having read this article has made me think otherwise that maybe just maybe the damage isn’t as great as I have predicted it to be. Since I really do like listening to the songs I listen to, threshold shifts may not be as detrimental as one would think.
 In a related article that I have read, results showed that Pop/rock musicians even if having been exposed in a long duration to frequent, loud music (for as long as 26 years) surprisingly exhibited well-preserved hearing. Researchers have indicated that positive attitudes towards performance may have played a role as a protective effect thus reducing hearing damages. 

YESSSS! Maybe I don’t really have to stop listening to rock music because my liking for it and how awesome I think it is may reduce hearing loss. However, I am very much aware that numerous studies swere conducted how loud noise from heavy metal, rock music can be truly detrimental to one’s hearing. In a research study by Kahari & et. al. (2004), assessing hearing damage among musicians, revealed that 74%, a relatively large number of pop/rock musician had suffered hearing disorders such as hearing loss, tinnitus and hyperacusis. Thus still exposure to loud music, high frequencies for that matter can be bad for the ears. I guess, It wouldn’t hurt to take some precautions as to preserve my hearing, like keeping volume levels at minimum and avoiding excessive exposure to loud noises. I don’t ever want to lose my sense of hearing so Id better keep these crucial things in mind, and really give my ears the care that they deserve. 

Kahari, K., Zachau, G. & et. al.(2004). The influence of music and stress on musicians’ hearing. Journal of sound and vibration 277(3),627-631

Willaims,L. & Wilkins,B. (1987). The Influence of Subjective Factors on Temporary Threshold Shifts after Exposure to Music and Noise of Equal Energy.Journal of the american auditory societ, 8(5)

Williams, L. & Wilkins, B. (1995). Hearing in Pop/Rock Musicians: A Follow-up Study. Journal of the American auditory society, 16(3)

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