Is there a gadget that exemplifies the modern human condition better than headphones? Today, headphones and earbuds let you separate yourself from everyone around you while simultaneously permitting you to connect to the entire world of sounds. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you are. They’re fabulous. But headphones could also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your hearing health is concerned. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is very worrisome.
Some Risks With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (most people love to jam out to their favorite music at full power). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.
This kind of headphone use is fairly common. Certainly, there are plenty of other purposes and places you might use them, but the fundamental function is the same.
We want to be able to listen to anything we want without bothering people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But this is where it can get dangerous: our ears are exposed to an intense and extended amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the injury caused by this prolonged exposure. And hearing loss has been connected to a wide variety of other health-related conditions.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Healthcare specialists consider hearing health to be a major aspect of your general health. And that’s the reason why headphones pose something of a health risk, especially since they tend to be everywhere (headphones are really easy to get a hold of).
What can you do about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have put forward a number of measures to take:
- Turn down the volume: 85dB is the maximum volume that you should listen to your headphones at according to the World Health organization (60dB is the average volume of a conversation to put it in context). Most mobile devices, regrettably, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Determine the max output of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to observe these warnings.
- Take breaks: It’s tough not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite tunes. That’s understandable. But you need to take some time to allow your hearing to recover. So consider giving yourself a five-minute break from your headphones now and then. The idea is, each day give your ears some lower volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and limiting) your headphone-wearing time will help keep moderate volumes from hurting your ears.
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people nowadays. And it’s likely a wise move to limit the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. The longer we can avoid the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss sets in.
If you’re at all worried about your ear health, you may want to curtail the amount of time you spend using your headphones altogether.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
You only have one set of ears so you shouldn’t ignore the impact of hearing damage. But your hearing can have a huge impact on numerous other health factors, including your general mental health. Problems such as have been connected to hearing impairment.
So the health of your hearing is linked inextricably to your all-around well-being. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone may become a health hazard. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.