Listening to music too loudly can damage ear nerve cells

United Kingdom researchers have found that listening to music too loudly can damage the coatings of nerve cells in your ears, Medical Daily reported.

Prior research has demonstrated that music, and other noises, higher than 110 decibels can cause temporary hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). According to Medical Daily, 110 decibels is comparable to the noise emitted by jet engines.

In this latest study, researchers found when listening to music at 110 decibels, the coating around nerve cells – called the myelin sheath – can be damaged, which prevents the nerve cells from relaying auditory signals to the brain. However, they did say the damage can be corrected, meaning the hearing loss is temporary in some cases.

"We now understand why hearing loss can be reversible in certain cases,” study researcher Dr. Martine Hamann of the Department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Leicester, said in a statement. “We showed that the sheath around the auditory nerve is lost in about half of the cells we looked at, a bit like stripping the electrical cable linking an amplifier to the loudspeaker. The effect is reversible and after three months, hearing has recovered and so has the sheath around the auditory nerve."

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