Is there a gadget that exemplifies the current human condition better than headphones? Today’s wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds enable you to link to a global community of sounds while simultaneously giving you the ability to isolate yourself from everyone you see. You can keep up on the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you are. They’re fabulous. But the way we generally use them can also be a health hazard.
This is particularly true with regards to your hearing health. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. Headphones are everywhere so this is very troubling.
Some Hazards With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances loves to listen to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (there’s a particular enjoyment in listening to your favorite tune at max power). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This is a pretty typical use of headphones. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of things 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 subjecting our ears to a significant amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. Hearing loss can be the result of the harm caused by this prolonged exposure. And hearing loss has been linked to a wide variety of other health-related conditions.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Healthcare specialists consider hearing health to be a major element of your general wellness. Headphones are easy to get and that’s one reason why they create a health hazard.
What can be done about it is the real question? In order to make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have offered numerous measures to take:
- Heed to volume warnings: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s very important for your hearing health to comply with these warnings as much as you can.
- 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. Find out the max output of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Age restrictions: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it might be smarter if we reduce that a little, limiting the amount of time younger children spend wearing headphones. The longer we can avoid the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss begins.
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s understandable. But you should take a little time to let your ears to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The strategy is, each day give your ears some lower volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and limiting) your headphone-wearing time can help keep moderate volumes from injuring your ears.
You may want to think about reducing your headphone usage altogether if you are at all concerned about your health.
I Don’t Really Need to Worry 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 influenced by hearing issues. Issues such as have been connected 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 may become a health risk. So do yourself a favor and turn the volume down, just a little bit.