Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Loud Music Bad For You?



Short answer

Listening to loud music is bad for you (or your ears in this case) - especially over the long-term. However, enjoying a concert here and there or jamming out to your favorite song once in a while shouldn't cause any damage.



Long answer

Despite the fact (completely biased and unscientific as it may be) that blasting music or going to a rock concert is awesome, in this case, "awesome" does not equate with "good for you." According to US occupational health and safety standards, noise exceeding 85 decibels can cause permanent damage. At the 85 decibels level (the low end of the spectrum), it is suggested to not listen to anything at that loudness for more than 8 hours in one day. Listening to 94 decibels should not exceed one hour per day.

However, when we say "loud music" we often mean concerts or an MP3 player at full volume, both of which exceed 100 decibels. In the case of MP3 players or other personal music devices, it is quite often the case that people listen to their music for far more than one hour per day.

Now, don't try scalping your tickets to the next concert quite yet. In most cases, hearing loss caused by loud noises is temporary and hearing returns to normal the next day. It is through continuous, long-term exposure to loud noise that permanent cochlear damage occurs. If you are listening to your music at full blast all day, you may want to take note - nerve damage caused by loud music is irreversible (that is it's permanent).

There is one benefit, though - loud music can provide a boost of energy, good for such things as working out or getting ready for a competition. Still, all told, listening to loud music has very negative long-term consequences and should be kept to a minimum.

Possible short-term side effects

  • temporary hearing loss
  • tinnitus

Possible long-term side effects

  • permanent hearing loss
  • nerve damage
  • impaired learning
  • impaired ability to retain information


  • may provide a surge of energy

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Written by Jeff Volling | 12-28-2015

Written by Jeff Volling
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