You can lose up to 90% of the nerve fibers in the cochlea due to the frequent use of earbuds, according to a study
Earbuds, even if used at a moderate volume, can cause permanent hearing damage.
Researchers at the Eaton Peabody Laboratory at Harvard Medical School in the United States have discovered that up to 90% of the nerve fibers in the cochlea can be lost without losing the ability to detect sounds in quiet environments, however , if there is background noise, the hearing capacity is greatly diminished. That is, the hair cells of the inner ear may be perfectly healthy, but the hearing decreases because there has been damage to the synapse or neuronal nerve impulse.
Auditory nerve damage
Earbuds generate high intensity, damaging sound waves directly into the cochlea, even at moderate volumes. To date, there is no treatment to repair cochlear nerve damage, so researchers strongly advise caution in its use.
"The nerve fibers can't be reconnected," explains Charles Liberman, director of the Eaton Peaboy Laboratory and head of the study. "They stop reacting to sounds, and after a few months or years, the rest of the neuron is gone."
hidden hearing loss
For decades, scientists have investigated almost exclusively the behavior of hair cells as indicators of hearing loss. Now, a study published by the American Acoustical Society has found that there is also "hidden hearing loss," providing a new approach to hearing protection.
The sound waves travel through the middle ear to the cochlea located in the inner ear, where the hair cells are stimulated. The organ of Corti, inside the cochlea, then transforms the physical movement of the hair cells into electrical impulses that reach the brain. It is in this part of the process where the new discoveries reside.
Golden rule 60 x 60
To reduce the risk of hearing impairment, it is recommended to use earphones instead of ear buds. These provide a more natural sound and attenuate direct sound input to the inner ear.
Also, experts suggest not forgetting the golden rule 60 by 60: do not turn the volume up more than 60 percent or listen for more than 60 minutes.