One of the music business’ finest musicians is calling it quits. Singer, performer, and music legend Phil Collins has announced that he will be leaving the music scene due to his health; one of the major reasons being that his hearing has diminished over the years. Among other ailments, Collins’ hearing loss is serious enough to impact his ability to perform. This is a serious loss to music lovers, as well as to the musician, himself.
What Caused Collins’ Hearing Loss?
This is a great question that deserves much attention. One of the most common causes of hearing loss as one ages is due to chronic noise exposure. With Collins in the music industry and having performed thousands of concerts, it is easy to see how his ears have taken a beating over the years. The noise level at many concerts can leave attendees and performers with temporary hearing loss. When that level of exposure is repeated night after night over a period of years, the damage to the inner ear can become permanent. Collins has been in the music industry for over 40 years, so it makes sense that his hearing could have been so tragically affected.
How Much is Too Much Noise?
According to the National Institutes of Health, hearing loss that is the result of constant exposure to noise is called, “Noise Induced Hearing Loss.” This type of hearing loss is associated with chronic exposure to noise that is measured as being greater than 75 decibels. Decibels are a way of measuring how loud or soft a sound is. Since sounds are made by altering air waves, decibels can be measured showing the intensity of the sound as it travels through the air.
In order to understand the intensity of sound and the measurement of sound vibrations, or decibels, consider this. The sound that is made from a refrigerator is approximately 45 decibels. City traffic can reach as high as 85 decibels, and music concerts can reach higher than 100 decibels. Normal conversation happens around 60 decibels. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss can occur with chronic exposure to noise that measures over 75 decibels.
How Can I Protect My Ears from Noise Exposure?
The easiest way to protect your hearing and avoid permanent damage to your ears is to avoid exposure to loud noises. While this may be impossible, especially if you work in an area that is full of noise, finding ways to reduce noise exposure is a necessity. Wearing ear plugs or ear muffs are good examples of how to stop or reduce the sound intensity that could potentially damage the ears.