Does listening to loud music impair hearing?

Hello everyone, I’m new.

My parents are always telling me that listening to my CD player on full volume will either deafen me, or at least impair my hearing. Is this true? The volume seems comfortable for me, meaning it doesn’t hurt or anything, so I don’t see the problem.

It certainly could cause some hearing loss, depending on how loud you have it and how many hours per day you are exposing yourself to it.

The condition is called Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL).

Depends on how loud it is.

You might already have been losing some hearing.

My family has no known history of hearing loss or deafness. I played drums and percussion with primarily electric bands, for 25 years. It is not uncommon for people I’m with to answer a cell phone that I never heard.

Anecdotal evidence, to be sure. I think I’d be even jumpier than I am if I could hear as well as those around me. Enjoy the peace and quiet.

[old geezer]

Damn young whippersnappers, why can’t you speak up?
[/old geezer]

Any loud noise can damage hearing. This assumes that you have it loud enough, and are exposed long enough. Doesn’t have to be music. Gunshots, machinery, race cars whatever. It can also cause loss of certain frequencies, and leave other more or less undamaged.

Oh and welcome to the boards.


Is there anything I could possibly do to regain my hearing, other than getting a hearing aid? I’m 14, so I don’t think that would be a very good option.

I listen to my CD player on the bus ride to school every day (rarely do I go without it, but it happens), full volume, for maybe 40-45 minutes (I’m one of the first stops, so I wait a while before getting to school).

Judging from the amount of school days that have passed already, I’d say I’ve lost some hearing. However, I still maintain that the volume which I listen to is very comfortable, and normal everyday activities aren’t interfered with, unless it involves someone across the room mouthing/whispering extremely quietly so we won’t get in trouble for talking; then I don’t know what the hell the guy/girl’s saying.

Rick, thank you for the welcome :slight_smile: and thank you all for your help.

From this page.

Try to turn it down to a lower volume. If people sitting next to you can hear the music, it’s too loud.

Wait a minute, if I continue to listen to my CD player at the volume I have been, will I receive further damage, or will the damage already caused simply remain?

From this page.

Hearing damage due to excessive sound pressure level is cumulative and irreversible.

Alright, then I suppose I should stop.

Not necessarily stop, but do turn down the volume a bit. :slight_smile:

Rumor has it that Pete Townsend has 60% hearing loss from all those concerts that got The Who listed in the Guinness book for their volume.
YES, it does.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about hearing loss, which I had to wade through as I am a semi-professional musician, regularly playing at levels where you can’t hear people speaking a foot away from you, and also I regular go out to clubs where there is similar amounts of noise, which means that I’m exposed to high volumes for at least 2-3 hours 3 or more times a week.
After seeing a guitarist friend develop chronic tinnitus (a constant ringing in the ear) at the age of 24, I decided to be more careful. That tinnitus is bad s!!!. Imagine going to sleep everynight with a sound equivelant to loud crickets chirping.
The biggest myth is this-
Your ears get used to loud noise and it stops mattering : whilst you can cause damage to your ears with a sudden loud noise, such as a gun shot, or standing near a d!!!head drummer, this is because of a different reason. No matter how deaf you already are, listening to loud noise is only going to make you deafer.

CD players arent the worst thing you can do, but I definately would not keep it turned up for extended lengths of time (over 20 mins). I wouldn’t worry about it too much yet tho, these things do take time. The bigger problem is really when you get into a lifestyle where you are being exposed to loud noise regularly for hours, such as people who go to clubs for 6 hours plus, or people who work with noisey machinary.

And no, there is no way you can really regain hearing, short of getting a hearing aid.

Beware of listening to your music in a car… basically you are training your ears to be those people who drive through our campus setting off car alarms with rap (I kid you not).

Turn the volume down leaps to mind. The longer the exposure the more the damage.

I’ve had tennitus since I was 11 – before I even became interested in playing music loudly.

It’s not fair! Here I am, having a constant “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” ringing in my ears, and I didn’t even get to listen to loud music to get it! :wink:

I have to admit that, personally, my ears hurt when a CD Player (with headphones) is on at top volume. I would think that playing it that loud for that long, going by the cites people have provided, can cause definite damage.

You naturally lose some of your top range of hearing as you get older. A child can hear up to around 30 kHz, and this number just comes down as you are exposed to noise. Any loud sound will bring it down more, especially if it’s continuous.

That really isn’t true. Loud noise can cause temporary loss of some of the fine hairs that help pick up sound in the ear as well as causing the ear to protect itself with excess wax (prologed exposures to loud noises). Very loud noises can damage the small bones or cause rupture of the eardrum but even that is not necessarily going to cause long term problems.

How much damage is done and how fast you may or might not recover from excessive volumes is greatly determined by your age (for instance the small bones are more brittle and less cartilidge like at the anchor points, and as we age we often permanently lose some of the small hairs. Scarring over time can cause the eardrum to thicken. Ruptures or punctures don’t necessarily have to occur for this to happen though scarring is definitly worse. Gunshots tend to cause small rips around the outer edges of the eardrum and they can scar heavily when healing and cause less flexibility in the eardrum.

A good rule of thumb is if it is uncomfortable turn it down. If your ears ring after the noise is gone then it was too loud and you should not expose yourself to those levels regularly if at all. You may have not done any permanent damage at all especially at your age but as you age your bodys ability to heal itself diminishes and scars are fairly permanent no matter where they appear on your body.

“All things, in moderation”