Headphones are a device that best reflects the modern human condition. Today, headphones and earbuds permit you to separate yourself from people around you while at the same time 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 everywhere. They’re wonderful. But the way we normally use them can also be a health risk.
This is particularly true regarding your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. That’s exceedingly troubling because headphones can be found everywhere.
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 turns the volume way up (the majority of people love to listen to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.
This type of headphone use is relatively common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of things but the basic concept is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever we want without bothering people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But that’s where the danger is: we’re exposing our ears to a considerable amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. Over time, that noise can cause injury, which will lead to hearing loss. And a wide range of other health conditions have been linked to hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Healthcare professionals think of hearing health as an essential element of your all-around health. Headphones are easy to get and that’s one reason why they pose a health hazard.
What can you do about it is the real question? Researchers have offered several tangible steps we can all use to help make headphones a little safer:
- Take breaks: When you’re jamming out to music you really like, it’s tough not to pump it up. Most people can relate to that. But your ears need a bit of time to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The strategy is to give your ears some time with lower volumes each day. Decreasing your headphone time and watching volume levels will undoubtedly reduce damage.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s incredibly important for your hearing health to stick to these cautions as much as possible.
- Turn down the volume: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not go over a volume of 85dB (to put it in context, the volume of a normal conversation is around 60dB). Most mobile devices, regrettably, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Determine the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Restrict age: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people nowadays. And it might be wiser if we cut back on that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend wearing headphones. The longer we can protect against the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss takes hold.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you might want to restrict the amount of time you spend on your headphones altogether.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
When you’re young, it’s easy to consider damage to your hearing as unimportant (which you shouldn’t do, you only have one pair of ears). But your hearing can have a huge impact on numerous other health factors, including your general mental health. Problems like have been linked to hearing impairment.
So your general wellness 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 hazard. So do yourself a favor and turn the volume down, just a little bit.