Headphones are a device that best demonstrates the modern human condition. Modern wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds let you to connect to a global community of sounds while simultaneously giving you the ability to isolate yourself from everybody you see. You can keep up on the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you find yourself. It’s pretty awesome! But the way we tend to use them can also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your ears are concerned. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also reported. Headphones are everywhere so this is especially worrisome.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (the majority of people love to listen to their favorite music at full power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t bother other people with her loud music.
This type of headphone usage is pretty common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for a lot of purposes but the basic concept is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever we want without annoying people around us, that’s the reason why we use headphones. But this is where it can become dangerous: our ears are subjected to an intense and prolonged amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the harm caused by this prolonged exposure. And hearing loss has been connected to a wide variety of other health-related problems.
Safeguard Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is an integral part of your overall health. And that’s why headphones present something of a health hazard, especially since they tend to be everywhere (headphones are very easy to get your hands on).
What can you do about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have offered several steps to take:
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s understandable. But your hearing needs a bit of time to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The idea is to give your ears some time with lower volumes every day. Reducing your headphone time and checking volume levels will undoubtedly lessen damage.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization recommends that your headphones not go beyond a volume of 85dB (for context, the volume of a normal conversation is about 60dB). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t calculate their output in decibels. Find out the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at no more than half.
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people nowadays. And it might be wiser if we reduce that a little, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. The longer we can stop the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss begins.
- Volume warnings are important: It’s likely that you listen to your tunes on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you start pumping up the volume a bit too much. It’s very important for your ear health to adhere to these warnings as much as you can.
You may want to consider decreasing your headphone usage entirely if you are at all concerned about your health.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s easy to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you shouldn’t do, you only get one set of ears). But a few other health aspects, including your mental health, can be affected by hearing problems. Issues like have been connected to hearing impairment.
So your general well-being is forever linked to the health of your hearing. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone could become a health risk. So do yourself a favor and down the volume, just a little.