Earphones are an essential piece of technology today. But the question is whether it is safe? Unfortunately, the answer is no, but you can do a few things to reduce damage through the daily use of headphones.
According to World Health Organizations (WHO), up to 1 billion teenagers worldwide are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to noise and loud music at entertainment venues. It is also not only teenagers who are at risk of hearing loss, but all who are exposed to high noise levels.
How earphones can damage your hearing:
Sounds enter the inner ear as vibrations and then enter the cochlea (a helical tube in the inner ear containing the receptors for sound stimuli). When sound reaches the cochlea, the vibrations cause these hairs to start moving and create signals that the brain understands as sound.
When you listen to loud music, the hair moves more and if you listen to loud music for too long, the hairs may lose their sensitivity to sound and then become damaged. It is possible for the hairs to recover after a single incident of loud sound but persistent loud sound can cause permanent damage and hearing loss.
How to prevent it?
The sound of portable music devices can be loud and earphones direct the music directly to your ears.
To prevent your ears from being damaged by the use of headphones, the WHO has the following tips:
Limit the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour.
Limit time spent on activities with a lot of noise by taking short listening breaks.
Audiologists suggest the following:
- Turn down the volume. If you use headphones and you can’t hear anything else around you, the sound is too loud and you’re damaging your hearing.
- Instead, use earphones that fit over the ear rather than the ones that fit in the ear. This increases the distance between the origin of the sound and the eardrum, thereby reducing the risk of damage.
- When you listen to music at home, in your car or over any other speaker, the sound should be lower.
- If you need to be in a place where the music is very loud, avoid it.
- Use headphones that fit well with noise canceling technology.
- Set the volume limit to 80%. Most devices can go higher than 1 dB.
How do I know my hearing is damaged?
As soon as you experience any warning signs of hearing loss, visit a doctor or audiologist as soon as possible and go for regular hearing tests so that the necessary steps can be taken.
Signs of hearing loss include:
1. The muffling of certain sounds
2. The difficult understanding of words, especially with a lot of background noise
3. Trouble hearing consonants
4. That people should be constantly asked to repeat themselves that the volume of the TV, radio, etc. should be set higher withdrawal from conversations
It may be fun to listen to loud music and to have a set of earphones permanently. It is also common today to see teenagers with headphones in particular, but it can cause permanent damage. Instead, take the necessary steps to prevent hearing loss and damage to the ears and be part of a world of sound for as long as possible.