How many times have you been to a concert or a club where the music has just been too damn loud?
Sometimes you don’t even realize how loud it was until afterwards when your earings are ringing and everything sounds muffled and dull. But then two days later, things are fine again. What’s going on?
New research indicates that loud music damages tiny bundles of hair in your inner ear. They’re called “stereocilia”–really, “stereocilia”–and their job is to convert sound vibrations into electrical impulses, which then make their way to the brain where they’re interpreted as speech, music or whatever.
Loud music destroys these hair bundles. However, they regrow about every two days, which is why it takes that long for your hearing to fully come back. Scientists don’t know how these hairs renew themselves, but if they didn’t, most of us would probably be as deaf as rocks by now.