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Can Headphones Damage Your Hearing?

The Kashmir Monitor





Its no false, when your mobile warns you before increasing the volume ,”Listening at a high volume for a long time can damage your hearing. Tap OK to allow the volume to be increased above safe levels.” Research proves, the warning message shown on your mobile, while increasing the volume further the blue mark may damage your hearing. Exposure of ears to a high pitched sound for a long time may damage one’s listening ability and the damage caused is referred to as Noise Induced Hearing Loss or NIHL.

Listening to a sound above 85 dBps (decibels per second), can be harmful for one’s ears. At an average, people (especially youngsters) listen to music or other sounds around or above 100 dBps, which damages the ear to a certain extent. A human ear is exposed to thousands of sounds daily, but those sounds don’t damage ears. Listening music at a loud sound with headphones on for a long time can cause damage to ears.

30 years ago, people in their 20s could all hear to the low pitched sounds easily, like rustling of leaves, drip of rain drops. But now, for 1 in 5 of them, those sounds are gone forever. Doctors say, normally people aged 50 -60 years, used to consult them for hearing related problems, but now, people who are 40 or below are consulting them for the same because of their regular exposure to high volumes and increasing proneness towards hearing damage or loss.


People rarely now that, earbud hearing proves to be more harmful than headphones that go over the ears, because they come in direct contact with the ears and also earbud produces 120 decibels of sound where headphone produces 115 decibels.

If one is exposed to a sound which is greater than 85db for an average of eight hours without any hearing protection, the result may likely to be a hearing loss. Think about it!

Below are some loudness and time facts, you should think about before listening to a headphone.

-Hearing at 95dB,may damage the hearing and cause pain within four hours of exposure.

-Hearing at 100dB,may damage the hearing and cause pain within two hours of exposure

-Hearing at 105dB,may damage the hearing and cause pain within one hour of exposure

With the increase in every 5dB ,the damage can occur within the half of the time of the last exposure. But, after 120dB, the damage may occur immediately to the ears, causing a hearing loss.

Hearing damage or loss can happen in two ways:

1. Temporary Threshold Shift- Its a situation in which hearing ability of a person is either reduced or lost for a while but it is recovered automatically after few hours, with or without medication.

2. Permanent Threshold Shift- Its a phase when a person completely loses his ability to listen. It happens when he is exposed to a high pitched sound on regular basis.

What actually happens inside your ear?

When strong sound vibrations reach your ear, the problem deep inside the cochlea is the fragile hair, they turn vibrations into sound messages and send them to the brain. But the loud sound damages the hair cells and cochlea can’t relay the sound messages to the brain.Unlike the damage to other parts of the body, the inner ear/cochlea damage never heals. The more hair gets damage, the more hearing ability gets worse.

How to know, if you are facing hearing loss?

After the exposure to a loud sound, most common signs of hearing loss are:

1. Difficult to understand the speech of certain words.

2. Buzzing or ringing in the ears.

3. Muffling of speech.

The above given symptoms can be temporary, which are generally faced after a sudden exposure to a loud sound. But, if you are facing below given symptoms, then you must see a doctor.

1. Pain or discomfort in ears.

2. Severe hearing loss from one or both ears.

3. Acute chronic dizziness.

4. Drainage from ears.

How to reduce risk of losing hearing ability?

Here are 5 beneficial steps one can follow:

1. Doctors recommend, a 60%/60 minutes rule. It says, listening at 60% volume for only 60 minutes with your earbuds on, can help you lessen the risk of hearing loss.

2. Avoid using headphones, when alone.

3. Noise cancelling headphones are better alternative, as they cut the outside noise, allowing you to hear a clear audio, which leads you to listen at low volume.

4. Do not use headphones in loud environments. As it may lead you to increase the volume which may harm your ears more.

5. Choose right headphones. Select the one with good sound, bass and treble and also one use the equalizer in their mobiles to manage the sound.



Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

The Kashmir Monitor



Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:


Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.


Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Busting myths around blood donation

The Kashmir Monitor



As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.


The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

The Kashmir Monitor



By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.



We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.


Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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