Thursday, January 05, 2006

319 Give this article to your church musicians

There was a brief item in USAToday on Jan. 5 that should have been in the headlines: "Years of exposure to loud noise increases the risk of developing a non-cancerous tumor that could cause hearing loss."

We have a service at our church call X-alt and the music is too loud for me to even walk through the fellowship hall when it is being performed. It attracks many young people, and even some oldsters--both groups probably having already lost some of their sensitivity to sound. At our contemporary service (down a few notches from X-alt) I used to leave because the percussion would affect my heart rate even though I was on medication.

The tumor is called acoustic neuroma, a benign, slow growing tumor that forms on the sheath of the eighth cranial nerve. This tumor can cause hearing loss, balance problems, and facial palsy. Seems a high price to pay for blasting your congregation at the noise level of a jet taking off or a chain saw in operation. I'm fairly certain this is not what the Psalmist had in mind with "make a joyful noise unto the Lord."

See American Journal of Epidemiology, December 15, 2005.

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