When somebody ask me to define music, I didn’t really have an answer. Or let’s say, have more than one. For me, music is like an unspoken language. It’s the sound of nature. If you listen carefully, there is music in everything. There is only one way you can understand and enjoy music. You just have to keep listening. There’s so much to hear…..
The above message was given by A R Rahman in one of his Worldspace commercials. Forget about the ad, every word he said is true. There is so much to hear. The sounds of nature, the cute baby sounds to regular human interaction, songs composed by legends, sweet talk with your soul mate. There certainly is so much to hear.
We are truly gifted with this amazing ability to enjoy, feel and respond to the sounds and songs and we take this for granted. Imagine the situation where you enjoy all kinds of music for years and one day everything goes blank. Imagine a situation where your ears stop working. You might say ‘why should I even think of such situation?’. Well, you should because blank is what happens when we keep pumping loud music into our ears. No more music, no more movies, no more enjoying surround effects while playing your favourite game. See this video now:
That is the joy of being able to have proper hearing. You know, whenever I used to crank up the volume while playing music at home, my parents or relatives used to shout at me saying that it is irritating, even if you play their favorite song. It is not because they don’t like it. It is because their ears are lot more sensitive to sound. We should not get into a situation where we need to have a hearing aid or surgery just to be able to hear, right? So, what safety precautions should we take to stay safe?
Loudness and clarity
Remember how we crank up the volume so high thinking that it gives better listening environment? Do understand that loudness and clarity are not the same. Music is meant to be heard at decent listening levels. That’s where every single instrument/tune will be audible. Try it out once and you will understand. Also, the louder you play, the faster your eardrums die. The next time you purchase and headphone or earphone, purchase one that gives clean and clear audio, not something that pumps too much bass or treble (which is extremely harmful)
Noise and volume
I have seen many crank up the volume, sometimes to the max, reason being that they are in noisy environment. Don’t. It will put severe stress on your eardrum. Instead, get noise isolating earphones or active noise cancelling headphones. The price of these headphones has reduced a lot and you can get quality IEMs for as low as 500 bucks.
Check volume before playing
Ever heard about people becoming deaf due to being in the vicinity of explosions? It is due to the sheer amount of sound that goes into the ear suddenly. The same can happen if you put your headphones/IEMs on and accidentally playing music when the source is set to max volume level. Always always check the volume level, click on play and then use headphones. Better be safe than sorry.
Workouts and earphones
Never ever use earphones while doing workouts. I don’t remember where I learned about this but I came to know that ears are extremely sensitive when the body is undergoing strain and pumping loud music can cause irrecoverable damage. If you can’t workout without music, better get used to speakers set at decent volume.
Music and two wheeler
Classic mistake that we do. Going to ride to office of to a distant location? We push in IEMs and play music loud to avoid traffic noise, which is a really bad thing to do. Similar to what I said above, the noise from traffic and music from earphones doubles the chances of eardrum damage. If you want to, stick to high quality IEMs that give very good sound isolation and always play at low volume so that you are in touch with the environment and able to hear horns etc.
Sense the message
Whenever your ear feels stressed, you get some kind of irritation or pain in your ear. That’s a message given by your brain saying that your ears needs some rest. You absolutely need to turn off music and give your ears some quietness. Keep ignoring these messages and one day you will be interacting using a sign language.
I am not going to bore you further by giving lecture as there are hundreds of web pages and documents that explain how to stay safe while listening to music etc. BTW, the implant that that young lady got costs somewhere between 40,000$ to 65,000$ in USA. So, decide now whether you want to shell out your life savings in the future to get something that you took for granted for your whole life. It’s not late and please be safe. Let me sig off by sharing you this simple yet effective image: