Woman Suffers Permanent Hearing Loss by Listening to Music in Headphones Every Night for Two Years

A young Chinese woman who went to sleep every night for two years by playing music in her headphones now has to wear a hearing aid to compensate for the hearing loss.

Ms. Wang, a young woman from Shandong, China who works as a secretary at a local firm, recently went to the hospital for an ear exam after noticing that she had hearing problems. Often, when her supervisor would whisper to her during meetings, she had trouble understanding his words and she was worried that this would end up causing problems at work. A thorough examination revealed that the woman had suffered permanent neurological hearing damage in her left ear, which accounted for her trouble hearing her boss. Asked if she had suffered any trauma or if her ears had been subjected to loud noises for long periods of time, Ms. Wang said that the only thing she could think of was listening to music through her headphones every night.

“When I was in college, I liked falling asleep while listening to music. Once I started listening to it, I would sleep with the headphones on all night. It has become a habit, and I have been doing this for about two years,” the woman reportedly told her doctor.

Li Tao, director of the Department of Otolaryngology at the hospital, told Chinese newspaper The Paper that Ms. Wang’s hearing loss had most likely been caused by the music she listened to every night. Even though the volume wasn’t excessive, the ears were subjected to noise for long periods of time and this eventually caused permanent hearing damage.

Luckily for Ms. Wang, it was only her left ear that was affected by the constant noise, and the damage was mild enough that the loss of hearing function can be compensated with a hearing aid.

Photo: Unsplash

Interestingly, we featured a very similar story in 2019, when a Taiwanese man woke up deaf in one ear after falling asleep while listening to music through a pair of earbuds.

Ms. Wang’s story went viral in China recently and is being treated as a cautionary tale by youths. Doctors advise people to follow the principle of the three “60” to avoid similar problems: do not expose your ears to an environment exceeding 60 decibels for a long time, do not wear headphones or listen to loud music for more than 60 minutes, and when using sound-playing electronics, try to keep the volume under 60 percent.

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