Student falls asleep with earbuds on and wakes up DEAF in one ear
- Unidentified student received treatment in time to prevent permanent damage
- He recovered his hearing following five days in Taiwan’s Asia University Hospital
- A medical expert has now warned people not to use earbuds when sleeping
A student who fell asleep while listening to music on his earbuds woke up completely deaf in one ear.
One of the student’s earbuds fell out while he was sleeping, otherwise he might have lost hearing in both of his ears, medics say.
Luckily, the unidentified second-year university student received treatment in time to prevent any permanent damage and gradually recovered his hearing following five days in Taiwan’s Asia University Hospital in Taichung City.
A student who fell asleep while listening to music on his earbuds woke up completely deaf in one ear (file photo)
Dr. Tian Huiji, director of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the hospital, warned people not to use earbuds when sleeping.
He also advised those who experienced any problems to seek medical help as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
The medical expert suggested that while people might listen to loud levels of sound through their earbuds in the day without experiencing sudden deafness, doing the same at night is more dangerous.
Speaking to OMG Taiwan recently, Dr Huiji explained that when sleeping the body’s blood circulation slows down.
This means the hair cells in our ears receive less blood to help deal with the loud sounds – resulting in sudden deafness.
Dr. Tian Huiji, director of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the hospital, warned people not to use earbuds when sleeping (file photo)
According to the health expert, earbuds are especially dangerous as they restrict any sound from escaping, unlike headphones which allows some of it to dissipate.
Last year, William Shapiro, clinical associate professor at New York University Langone, claimed young people were ignoring advice and permanently damaging their hearing while listening to loud music on headphones.
Speaking in January 2018, he said that one in five teenagers have some form of hearing loss due to noise exposure.
If hair cells are damaged in any way, we suffer permanent hearing loss or balance degeneration.
In each ear, the inner ear structure called the cochlea – which receives sound in the form of vibrations – has 15,000 hairs. These tiny, sensory hair cells are crucial to helping us detect sound waves – but are very fragile.
The hair cells do not regenerate, so damage to them is permanent — a common cause among people with some types of hearing loss.
Dr Shapiro told Business Insider: ‘An ear bud sits in the ear obviously and the closer the ear bud is to the ear drum the higher the sound pressure and that can damage your hearing.
‘So actually you’re stressing the hairs in the cochlear and you’re shearing them and damaging them. So just increasing sound from three to six DB [decibels] doubles the intensity of the sound.’