Hearing disorders include tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ears), muffled ears or hearing loss. Noise exposure is the primary cause of these disorders, says Jean-Luc Puel
, Professor of Neurosciences and Director of Research at INSERM Montpellier (France).
As soon as primary school, many children fall asleep with headphones on the ears. Christian Hugonnet, Board Member of The Week of Sound
, also warns against compressed sound: in order to be able to hear MP3 music on public transport, low levels are raised above ambient level. It's like listening to Ravel Bolero constantly at 80 dB, while the music piece starts at 40 dB to finish around 80 dB. "The ear has no time to rest. The problem is not just the loud sound, but also the duration that can have deleterious effects.
If the sound must not exceed 105 dB in indoor concerts, there are no rules for outdoor concerts!
"We know that exposure to very loud sounds may affect the structure of the sensory cells, especially that of the receiver antenna of sound stimulation. Auditory neurons are also affected when the sensory cell is over-stimulated: the neurotransmitter, glutamate, released in excess, becomes toxic to the auditory neurons
", said Christine Petit
, Professor at the Collège de France, Paris.
Anecdotally, Louis Destouches, a medical student suffering from tinnitus, which did not result from a Metallica concert but from a concussion caused by a downfall, and a shell burst in 1914, has proposed in 1923 empirical means, with an apparently wacky simplicity, to achieve "the eardrum sound massage
". The paper was published in the "Union pharmaceutique journal
" in February 1923 under the title: About a small therapy of tinnitus by sound and by bone transmission
A metal horn (similar to a whistle) with a vibrating blade, held between the teeth, emits a piercing sound making a counter-noise. An essential part of the treatment lies, according to Destouches in the "undeniable psychological outcome
" that the patient will feel. Unfortunately the picture of this little horn was not provided with the manual and the magazine does not specify which was its reception in the medical and pharmaceutical communities.
This future doctor will become famous by the name of Céline.