Is there a gadget that exemplifies the current human condition better than headphones? Today, headphones and earbuds permit you to isolate yourself from everyone around you while at the same time enabling you to connect to the whole world of sounds. You can keep up on the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you are. It’s pretty amazing! But the way we generally use them can also be a health risk.
This is specifically true regarding your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is very worrisome.
Some Dangers With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo a lot. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also turns the volume way up (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 enjoy her tunes.
This type of headphone usage is fairly common. Of course, headphones can be used for a lot of things but the basic idea is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever we want without annoying people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard lies: we’re exposing our ears to a significant amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the injury caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide range of other health concerns have been associated with hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is a critical element of your complete health. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they pose a health hazard.
What can be done about it is the real question? Researchers have offered numerous concrete measures we can all use to help make headphones a little safer:
- Volume warnings are important: It’s likely that you listen to your music on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you begin pumping up the volume a little too much. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to heed these warnings.
- 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 (for context, the volume of an average conversation is around 60dB). Most mobile devices, regrettably, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Try to be sure that your volume is lower than half or look into the output of your specific headphones.
- Take breaks: When you’re listening to music you really like, it’s tough not to crank it up. That’s understandable. But your ears need a little time to recuperate. So consider giving yourself a five-minute rest from your headphones here and there. The concept is, every day give your ears some reduced volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and limiting) your headphone-wearing time can help keep moderate volumes from damaging your ears.
- Age restrictions: These days, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it’s likely a smart decision to limit 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.
You may want to consider lessening your headphone use entirely if you are at all worried about your health.
It’s Just My Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s not hard to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you shouldn’t do, you only have one set of ears). But your hearing can have a substantial impact on numerous other health factors, including your general mental health. Issues such as have been linked to hearing impairment.
So the health of your hearing is connected inextricably to your total well-being. And that means your headphones could be a health risk, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So do yourself a favor and turn the volume down, just a bit.