More and more performers are discovering that their hearing is permanently damaged. Repeated assaults by loud music (over 100 decibels) cause the sound-carrying hairs located in the inner ear to flatten and lose their resilience permanently. One audiologist said that hours of music blasting through stereo earphones has the same effect as if the nozzle of a fire hose had been stuck down the ear canal. Pete Townshend of The Who once told The Toronto Star that “one of the great agonies ... is that long before you grow old, you can’t hear what children are saying to you.” Of his years of blaring rock ’n’ roll, he adds: “I think it’s worth saying that there is a price to pay for that: it’s premature deafness.”
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