Is there a gadget that exemplifies the current human condition better than headphones? Today’s wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds permit you to link to a global community of sounds while at the same time enabling you to isolate yourself from everybody you see. They let you watch Netflix or listen to music or stay in tune to the news from anywhere. It’s pretty awesome! But the way we generally use them can also be a health risk.
This is particularly true with regards to your hearing health. And the World Health Organization confirms this also. Headphones are everywhere so this is very troubling.
The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo a lot. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (most people love to jam out to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This type of headphone use is fairly common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the basic idea is the same.
We use headphones because we want the listening experience to be somewhat private (so we are able to listen to whatever we want) and also so we don’t bother the people near us (usually). But this is where it can become dangerous: we’re exposing our ears to a considerable amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. Hearing loss can be the result of the damage caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide assortment of other health conditions have been connected to hearing loss.
Protect Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare experts, is a major element of your overall health. And that’s the reason why headphones pose somewhat of a health risk, especially since they tend to be everywhere (headphones are really easy to get your hands on).
What can be done about it is the real question? In order to make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have put forward several measures 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 some time to let your hearing to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute break. The concept is, each day give your ears some reduced volume time. In the same way, monitoring (and restricting) your headphone-wearing time will help keep moderate volumes from damaging your ears.
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being used by younger and younger people these days. And it may be smarter if we reduce that a bit, 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 sets in.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: 85dB is the highest volume that you should listen to your headphones at according to the World Health organization (60dB is the common level of a conversation to put it in context). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter built in. Try to be sure that your volume is less than half or look into the output of your particular headphones.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. It’s extremely important for your ear health to stick to these cautions as much as you can.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you might want to reduce the amount of time you spend on your headphones entirely.
I Don’t Really Need to be Concerned About my Hearing, Right?
You only get one pair of ears so you shouldn’t dismiss the impact of hearing damage. But numerous other health factors, including your mental health, can be affected by hearing issues. Issues including have been connected to hearing impairment.
So your overall well-being is forever connected to the health of your hearing. And that means your headphones may be a health risk, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So do yourself a favor and down the volume, just a little bit.