Is there a gadget that reflects the present human condition better than headphones? Modern wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds enable you to connect to a worldwide community of sounds while simultaneously giving you the ability to isolate yourself from everybody you see. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you are. They’re wonderful. But headphones might also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your hearing health is concerned. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. That’s exceedingly worrying because headphones can be found everywhere.
Some Dangers With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (the majority of people love to jam out to their favorite music at full power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t annoy other people with her loud music.
This is a pretty typical use of headphones. Of course, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the basic concept is the same.
We use headphones because we want a private listening experience (so we can listen to whatever we want) and also so we don’t bother the people around us (usually). But that’s where the danger lies: our ears are exposed to an intense and prolonged amount of noise. Over time, that noise can cause injury, which leads to hearing loss. And hearing loss has been associated with a wide range of other health-related illnesses.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is an integral element of your general health. Headphones are easy to get and that’s one reason why they present a health hazard.
The question is, then, what can be done about it? In order to make headphones a bit 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 incredibly important for your hearing health to stick to these cautions as much as you can.
- Restrict age: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it may be smarter if we reduce that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. Hearing loss won’t develop as soon if you can stop some damage when you’re younger.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: 85dB is the maximum volume that you should listen to your headphones at as outlined by the World Health organization (for context, the volume of a typical conversation is about 60dB). Regrettably, most mobile devices don’t evaluate their output in decibels. Look into the max output of your headphones or keep the volume at no more than half.
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s easy to understand. But your hearing needs a bit of time to recover. So think about giving yourself a five-minute rest from your headphones every now and again. The concept is, each day give your ears some lower volume time. By the same token, monitoring (and reducing) your headphone-wearing time will help keep higher volumes from damaging your ears.
You may want to think about lessening your headphone use altogether if you are at all worried about your health.
It’s Just My Hearing, Right?
When you’re young, it’s easy to consider damage to your ears as trivial (which you should not do, you only get one set of ears). But your hearing can have a big impact on several other health factors, including your general mental health. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to increases in the chances of problems like dementia and depression.
So the health of your hearing is linked inextricably to your total wellness. And that means your headphones could be a health hazard, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So do yourself a favor and down the volume, just a little bit.