People in big cities and towns are often exposed to loud noises, especially those from outdoor speakers. These speakers are unavoidable at sports stadiums, movie screenings, and social gatherings, but the sound can severely damage the ears if it is too loud. Many say they cannot hear soft sounds easily after going to such events. There are quite a few ways in which outdoor speakers can potentially damage the ears.
Damage to hair cells
The ear’s cochlea has tiny hair strands that bend when one hears loud noises. They return to normal after some time, but some are damaged and destroyed. Many of these hair cells even die on repeated exposure to loud noises.
It is okay to feel a ringing or buzzing noise in the ears after listening to noises from outdoor speakers. The ringing sound is called tinnitus. People exposed to loud noises for long may hear these sounds constantly, and that’s when it becomes a problem. Limiting exposure to outdoor speakers as much as possible is important to avoid this issue.
Damage to auditory nerves
The nerves in the ears carry auditory information to the brain. Continuous exposure to loud noises from speakers can damage the auditory nerves, but it may not become evident until much later. One may spot the problem only when they find it hard to understand what someone is telling them in a noisy place.
People may not immediately realize their ears are damaged because of the noise from outdoor speakers. The symptoms begin to show up only once they grow older. Hearing damage in old age is one of the many effects of exposure to loud noises, especially from outdoor speakers.
Getting to know these potential issues early on can help people limit exposure to outdoor speakers and prevent unnecessary ear problems.