DID YOU HEAR A WORD I JUST SAID
By Mhleli Mkhize
That favourite song of all time plays; stress playing with your feelings? All you need is something to help you feel lighter. Music through earphones provides that escape. Loud is good but maximum volume is better.
Using earphones, like any gadget or appliance has its pros and cons. You can use them to listen to music while working out, doing chores or while on a long bus ride.
You can also use them to hear what’s going on if your television or computer’s speakers are broken. But no matter how awesome or beneficial they may seem, they are also harmful to the user.
Earphones have become a staple in everyone’s lives and not all are cautious. Hearing loss is on the rise among teenagers and young adults due to the frequency of use and the volume of the headphones.
When we hear that favourite song, it is almost a natural reaction to want to turn up the volume to feel the rhythm and beat. A common misconception is that the bigger the headphones, the worse the damage.
The smaller ear buds, that commonly come with the iPhone/iPod are incredibly more dangerous. While headphones are placed over the ears, earphones are placed directly in the ear canal.
According to health experts’ statistics from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the USA, around 5 million teenagers in America who are aged between 5 and 20 have some form of hearing impairment that has been caused by noise exposure. The number of children in Africa who have problems with their hearing has increased from 13 million at the beginning of the 1970s (pre-mp3 players) to over 30 million today, which is a massive increase. In South Africa about 7.5 percent of school children suffer from varying degrees of hearing loss.
Brandon Freer, a student at the University of South Africa said, ”my hearing problem has prevented me from enrolling for the course I have wanted all of my life, which is radio dj-ing. As a child I would play loud music and turn up the volume even when my parents would make me aware of the negative effects this had on me-because of that I have been seeing a specialist for regular check ups on my ears. “
Zininigi Mthombeni ,an elderly lady who takes taxis to work every day said, “I think this is the 100th time I am going to be voicing out my opinion as far as the noise in the taxis is concerned. I don’t understand how these young men can be so disrespectful to their passengers and play music loud enough to break the windows!”