Most of us LOVE loud music. Loud music can mean high energy, fun and excitement. Cranking up the volume stimulates the brain in the pleasure center. It raises the intensity of the experience – whether it is on the dance floor, working out or at a concert. Here’s why:
Loud music is a stimulant. Loud music increases the heart rate and body temperature just like caffeine, exercise and alcohol. Studies show that loud music improves exercise performance by increasing endurance, power and strength. Look at everyone in the gym with earbuds!
Loud music relieves stress. Listening to music is a form of “de-stressor”. A small organ in the inner ear links directly to the pleasure centers in the brain. Loud music stimulates the release of endorphins from this connection. This tiny ear organ (called the sacculus) is responsible for our enjoyment of music!
Music evokes emotions. There are strong connections in the brain between our emotions and the interpretation of sound. Our brains release dopamine at peak moments in songs. When we listen to a song we already know, the anticipation of favorite passages also releases dopamine. This is why we get emotional with the songs you love!
Loud music “drowns out” the world. Blocking out the world can feel necessary sometimes. Loud music masks other sounds in the immediate surroundings. Loud music overwhelms the other senses similar to alcohol or drugs and changes our state of mind. Our focus changes. We focus less on other things when listening to loud music. This allows us to enjoy “the moment” and the emotions of the music!
We like loud music because it changes our mood and behavior. Excess produces hearing damage. Moderation is best to prevent hearing disability.
For thoughts on social consequences of hearing disability, contact our Audiologist , Dr. Anita Carroll.
Ears need rest and quiet time this holiday season!
Make the most of your time together this season by hearing your absolute best! Noisy malls, busy restaurants and even the holiday music can be too much to handle in the coming weeks. Even our ears need to rest! Take a quiet break to prevent ear fatigue. Limit phone time, TV time and music time.
Rest is important to be able to focus and understand others. As you prepare for the holidays, get plenty of sleep and allow for “quiet time”. It takes extra energy and concentration to follow conversations in holiday settings. This can make us extremely tired.
Rest your ears
When our brain is fatigued – we are unable to focus and make good conversation. This causes brain overload and ear fatigue. We are thinking, ‘I’m exhausted and I just want to get out of here.’ That will not result in good conversation. You’re better off taking a break and resting your ears.
3 Tips to Remember:
- Minimize the total sound you are exposed to before a visit or activity. (Remove earphones, limit tool use and loud exercise classes).
- Plan for daily quiet breaks such as a walk, reading or nap.
- Limit yourself to one “activity” per day. Try not to go to several occasions on the same day. Allow your ears to be rested and sharp!
Communicating is exhausting – so take time out for your ears to do their job!
If you’re looking to maintain current hearing or improve communication with better hearing contact our Audiologist for more thoughts on preventing ear fatigue.
Smoke alarms can usually be heard while we are awake. But will it wake you up when you are sleeping?
When we are sleeping, sounds need to be louder to startle us awake and respond. In fact – it needs to be as much as 40 dB louder for a person to wake up! Eventually, it may awaken you – but will it be in time to respond and exit safely in an emergency?
As we age, the ability to hear high-pitched sounds decreases. While this may not impair your daily communication, it slows down your arousal and response for you to safely exit. Smoke alarm signals are in this high-pitched range of hearing that decreases with age.
While you may hear the smoke alarm – you will not be STARTLED to awaken from a sound sleep. Combined with the TWO minute timeline for a fire to overtake a home, this illustrates the danger for those with hearing loss, sound sleepers and sleep apnea machines. By the time you awaken from a “far away” sound, the fire may have progressed too far for a safe exit.
Here are the facts:
- It’s about fast AWAKENING and having enough time to escape!
- Majority of residential fire fatalities occur between 11 pm and 7 am when mosts people are sleeping.
- 50% of adults with even Mild hearing loss DO NOT wake up to a smoke alarm.
- Children, handicapped individuals, and heavy sleepers are slower to awaken and also impacted.
- A lower frequency 520 Hz smoke alarm signal is the most effective signal for waking adults with hearing loss, heavy sleepers and handicapped individuals – waking 92%.
This is about SAFETY and important for everyone to consider! Contact our Audiologist for recommendations on smoke alarm options for those with apnea, decreased hearing, and sound sleepers.