Headphones are a device that best demonstrates the modern human condition. Modern wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds allow you to link to a worldwide community of sounds while at the same time enabling you to separate yourself from everyone around you. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you find yourself. They’re incredible. But the way we normally use them can also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your hearing health is concerned. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. Headphones are everywhere so this is very troubling.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo a lot. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also turns the volume way up (there’s a special enjoyment in listening to your favorite song at max volume). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t annoy other people with her loud music.
This kind of headphone use is fairly common. Certainly, there are lots of other purposes and places you could use them, but the primary purpose 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 around us (usually). But that’s where the danger is: our ears are subjected to an intense and prolonged amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the damage caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide range of other health issues have been connected to hearing loss.
Protect Your Hearing
Healthcare professionals think of hearing health as a vital element of your overall well-being. And that’s why headphones pose somewhat of a health hazard, especially since they tend to be everywhere (headphones are quite easy to get your hands on).
What can you do about it is the real question? In an effort to make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have offered a few measures to take:
- Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not exceed a volume of 85dB (60dB is the average volume of a conversation to put it in context). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t measure their output in decibels. Try to be certain that your volume is lower than half or look into the output of your particular headphones.
- Take breaks: It’s difficult not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. Most people can relate to that. But your hearing needs a little time to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The strategy is, every day give your ears some reduced volume time. Decreasing your headphone time and monitoring volume levels will undoubtedly decrease damage.
- Restrict age: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people these days. And it’s probably a wise move to reduce the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. Hearing loss won’t set in as soon if you can stop some damage when you’re younger.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s extremely important for your ear health to adhere to these cautions as much as possible.
You may want to think about reducing your headphone usage entirely if you are at all concerned about your health.
I Don’t Actually Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s easy to consider damage to your ears as unimportant (which you should not do, you only have one set of ears). But numerous other health factors, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing issues. Issues including have been connected to hearing impairment.
So the health of your hearing is connected inextricably to your total well-being. And that means your headphones may be a health hazard, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So turn down the volume a little and do yourself a favor.