Is there a gadget that reflects the modern human condition better than headphones? Nowadays, headphones and earbuds allow you to separate yourself from people around you while simultaneously permitting you to connect to the whole world of sounds. They let you listen to music or watch Netflix or stay in tune to the news from anywhere. It’s pretty awesome! But headphones could also be a health risk.
This is specifically true regarding your hearing health. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also acknowledged. That’s especially worrying because headphones are everywhere.
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 (there’s a certain enjoyment in listening to your favorite track at max power). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.
This type of headphone use is fairly common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the general idea is the same.
We want to be able to listen to anything we want without annoying people around us, that’s the reason why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard lies: we’re exposing our ears to a considerable amount of noise in an extended and intense way. After a while, that noise can cause injury, which will lead to hearing loss. And a wide assortment of other health concerns have been associated with hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Healthcare experts think of hearing health as an essential component of your general health. And that’s why headphones pose something of a health risk, especially since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are very easy to get a hold of).
So here is the question, then, what can be done about it? So that you can make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have put forward a number of measures to take:
- 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 (to put it in context, the volume of a typical conversation is about 60dB). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter built in. Look into the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Age restrictions: These days, younger and younger kids are using headphones. And it may be wiser if we reduce that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend wearing headphones. Hearing loss won’t set in as soon if you can stop some damage when you’re younger.
- Take breaks: It’s tough not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. Most people can relate to that. But you need to take some time to allow your ears to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The concept is, every day give your ears some reduced volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and limiting) your headphone-wearing time can help keep moderate volumes from injuring your ears.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. It’s incredibly important for your ear health to comply with these cautions as much as you can.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you might want to curtail the amount of time you spend using your headphones altogether.
It’s Just My Hearing, Right?
When you’re young, it’s easy to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you should not do, you only get one pair of ears). But a few other health factors, including your mental health, can be affected by hearing issues. Conditions like have been linked to hearing impairment.
So the health of your hearing is connected inextricably to your total well-being. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone might become a health hazard. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.