Is there a gadget that reflects the current human condition better than headphones? These days, headphones and earbuds enable you to isolate yourself from people around you while at the same time enabling you to connect to the whole world of sounds. They allow you to listen to music or watch Netflix or keep up with the news from anywhere. It’s pretty awesome! But headphones may also be a health risk.
This is specifically true regarding your hearing health. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also reported. Headphones are everywhere so this is very troubling.
The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances loves to listen to Lizzo all the time. When she’s really getting into it she usually 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 kind of headphone usage is pretty common. Certainly, there are plenty of other reasons and places you could use them, but the basic function is the same.
We use headphones because we want the listening experience to be somewhat private (so we can listen to whatever we want) and also so we’re not bothering the people around us (usually). But that’s where the hazard lies: our ears are exposed to an intense and extended amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the result of the damage caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide variety of other health concerns have been connected to hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare professionals, is an essential element of your general health. And that’s why headphones pose somewhat of a health risk, particularly since they tend to be everywhere (headphones are very easy to get a hold of).
What can you do about it is the real question? Researchers have put forward a few concrete measures we can all take to help make headphones a bit safer:
- Take breaks: When you’re listening to music you really enjoy, it’s difficult not to crank it up. Most people can relate to that. But your hearing needs a little time to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute break. The concept is, every day give your ears some reduced volume time. In the same way, monitoring (and restricting) your headphone-wearing time will help keep higher volumes from injuring your ears.
- Restrict age: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people nowadays. And it’s likely a wise decision to limit the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. Hearing loss won’t develop as soon if you can avoid some damage when you’re younger.
- Turn the volume down: The World Health Organization recommends that your headphones not go beyond a volume of 85dB (60dB is the average level of a conversation for context). Regrettably, most mobile devices don’t measure their output in decibels. Determine the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Pay attention to volume warnings: It’s likely that you listen to your music on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you begin cranking up the volume a bit too much. It’s very important for your ear health to comply with these warnings as much as you can.
If you’re at all worried about your ear health, you may want to curtail the amount of time you spend using your headphones entirely.
It’s Just My Hearing, Right?
When you’re young, it’s not hard to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you shouldn’t do, you only get one set of ears). But your hearing can have a substantial impact on numerous other health factors, including your general mental health. Issues like have been connected to hearing impairment.
So your hearing health is linked inextricably to your total wellness. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone might become a health risk. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.