Hearing Health Blog

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Is there a device that exemplifies the modern human condition better than headphones? Modern wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds let you to connect to a worldwide community of sounds while at the same time giving you the ability to isolate yourself from everybody you see. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you are. They’re wonderful. But the way we normally use them can also be a health risk.

At least, as far as your ears are concerned. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. That’s especially worrying because headphones are everywhere.

The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds

Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. When she’s really getting into it she usually cranks up the volume (there’s a special enjoyment in listening to your favorite song at max power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t annoy other people with her loud music.

This is a pretty normal use of headphones. Sure, there are plenty of other reasons and places you could use them, but the basic purpose is the same.

We want to be able to listen to anything we want without annoying people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard is: we’re subjecting our ears to a significant amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. After a while, that noise can cause injury, which leads to hearing loss. And hearing loss has been associated with a wide variety of other health-related problems.

Safeguard Your Hearing

Hearing health, according to healthcare experts, is a crucial component of your complete health. Headphones are easy to get and that’s one reason why they create a health hazard.

The question is, then, what can you do about it? In order to make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have offered numerous measures to take:

  • Listen to volume warnings: It’s likely that you listen to your tunes on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you start cranking up the volume a bit too much. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to heed these warnings.
  • Take breaks: It’s difficult not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite tunes. That’s understandable. But you need to take a bit of time to let your hearing to recover. So consider giving yourself a five-minute break from your headphones every now and again. The idea is, every day give your ears some lower volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and restricting) your headphone-wearing time can help keep higher volumes from hurting your ears.
  • Turn down the volume: 85dB is the highest volume that you should listen to your headphones at as outlined by the World Health organization (60dB is the common level of a conversation to put it in context). Unfortunately, most mobile devices don’t evaluate their output in decibels. Look into the max output of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
  • Age restrictions: These days, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it’s probably a wise choice to limit the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. The longer we can stop the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss takes hold.

If you’re at all worried about your ear health, you may want to reduce the amount of time you spend on your headphones entirely.

It’s Just My Hearing, Right?

When you’re young, it’s easy to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you shouldn’t do, you only get one pair of ears). But a few other health aspects, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing problems. Problems such as have been linked to hearing impairment.

So your hearing health is linked inextricably to your all-around well-being. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone could become a health risk. So turn down the volume a little and do yourself a favor.

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