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Headphone Use has Damaging Effects, Similar to Jet Engine Noise

Update Date: Aug 29, 2012 10:45 AM EDT
Headphones
Earphones Potentially as Dangerous as Noise from Jet Engines, Researchers Find. (Photo : Flickr/Whyment)

You ever wonder what staring alternatively at a computer, IPod and T.V. Screen all day, everyday will do to the eyes and the brain. While its too soon to tell how our constant use and strengthening dependency of technology is affecting us on a physiological and evolutionary level since the generation who is growing up in this age is still fairly young, researchers are looking at another technological addendum that is old enough to gauge its affects: our headphones.

Scientists from the University of Leicester have shown for the first time that listening to your device on full blast through headphones can damage the coating of nerve cells, similar to the affect of listening to a jet engine at close range.

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Earphones or headphones on personal music players can reach noise levels similar to those of jet engines, (louder than 110 decibels) and are known to cause hearing problems such as temporary deafness and tinnitus (the sensation of 'phantom sounds' such as buzzing or ringing). he researchers said.

The study explains that nerve cells that carry electrical signals from the ears to the brain have a coating which helps the electrical signals travel along the cell. Exposure to loud noises can strip the cells of this coating, disrupting the electrical signals. This means the nerves can no longer efficiently transmit information from the ears to the brain.

Howeve,  not to worry: researchers reassure that the hear loss is temporary and will return, though extended use of earphones would leave tissue scarring and may potentially leave older generations who grew up with headphones hard-of-hearing.

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