Is there a gadget that exemplifies the current human condition better than headphones? Today, headphones and earbuds enable you to separate yourself from people around you while at the same time allowing you to connect to the entire world of sounds. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you find yourself. They’re great. But the way we tend to use them can also be a health risk.
At least, as far as your ears are concerned. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is especially worrisome.
The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also turns the volume way up (the majority of people love to listen to their favorite music at full power). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This kind of headphone use is pretty common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the general idea is the same.
We use headphones because we want a private listening experience (so we are able to listen to anything we want) and also so we don’t bother the people around us (usually). But this is where it can become dangerous: our ears are subjected to an intense and extended amount of noise. Over time, that noise can cause injury, which leads to hearing loss. And a wide range of other health concerns have been linked to hearing loss.
Protect Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is a major component of your general health. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they present a health risk.
What can you do about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have provided a number of steps to take:
- Take breaks: It’s difficult not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s easy to understand. But you should take a little time to let your hearing to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute break. The strategy is to give your ears some time with lower volumes every day. Limiting your headphone time and watching volume levels will definitely lessen damage.
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people these days. And it’s definitely a smart decision 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 sets in.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not go beyond a volume of 85dB (60dB is the typical level of a conversation for context). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Determine the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s extremely important for your hearing health to stick to these warnings as much as possible.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you might want to curtail the amount of time you spend using your headphones entirely.
It’s Just My Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s not hard to consider damage to your hearing as unimportant (which you shouldn’t do, you only have one pair of ears). But numerous other health factors, including your mental health, can be influenced by hearing issues. Conditions such as have been linked to hearing impairment.
So your total well-being is forever connected to the health of your ears. 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.