While many people do not feel they can have a good time without hearing the music reverberating loudly in their ears, they do not understand the damage they are doing to their eardrums.
That was one of the problems encountered during the Carnival season with a music box on nearly every corner, music trucks and feters having a time with their favourite live band at the all-inclusive fetes.
However, the music pumping from these speakers is often more than 100 decibels and this could cause noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) which could be treated and corrected, or could leave people with permanent hearing loss. This was the warning by audiologist Dr Sidhessoowar Panday at the TT Association for the Hearing Impaired.
NIHL could also be caused by extremely loud bursts of sound, such as gunshots or explosions, which could rupture the eardrum or damage the bones in the middle ear. Panday said anybody exposed to a very loud sound could have a permanent hearing loss which meant there was no cure.
“Somebody who is working near an aircraft could have damage in the inner part of the ear. Inner ear damage is permanent damage, no kind of medication or surgery could fix it. If there is hearing loss in the middle or outer ear that could be fixed,” he said.
Panday said under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Act, people who were exposed to more than 85 decibels for more than eight hours were at high risk for hearing impairment.
He said during Carnival, music boxes were more than 100 decibels and even with a few minutes of sound exposure, people were at very high risk to damage to their eardrums. He said earplugs or earmuffs should be used under these circumstances and there should be warning signs advising people of the dangers and risks to listening to loud music.