Is there a device that reflects the present human condition better than headphones? Today’s wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds allow you to connect to a global community of sounds while at the same time giving you the ability to separate yourself from everybody around you. They let you listen to music or watch Netflix or stay in tune to the news from anywhere. They’re fabulous. But headphones could also be a health risk.
At least, as far as your ears are concerned. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. That’s exceedingly worrying because headphones are everywhere.
Some Dangers With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo all of the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (most people love to listen to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.
This kind of headphone usage is relatively common. Of course, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the overall concept is the same.
We want to be able to listen to anything we want without bothering people around us, that’s the reason why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard lies: our ears are exposed to an intense and prolonged amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the injury caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide variety of other health conditions have been associated with hearing loss.
Safeguard Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is an integral component of your general health. And that’s the reason why headphones present something of a health hazard, particularly since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are quite easy to get a hold of).
So here is the question, then, what can you do about it? So that you can make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have provided several measures to take:
- Pay attention to volume warnings: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. So if you use one to listen to music, you need to heed these warnings.
- Take breaks: When you’re jamming out to music you really enjoy, it’s hard not to pump it up. That’s easy to understand. But you need to take a bit of time to let your ears to recover. So consider giving yourself a five-minute rest from your headphones now and then. The strategy is, every day give your ears some low volume time. Decreasing your headphone time and monitoring volume levels will undoubtedly reduce damage.
- Age restrictions: These days, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it might be wiser if we reduce that a little, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. The longer we can stop the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss takes hold.
- Turn down the volume: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not exceed a volume of 85dB (to put it in context, the volume of a normal conversation is around 60dB). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Try to be sure that your volume is lower than half or look up the output of your particular headphones.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you might want to restrict the amount of time you spend on your headphones altogether.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
You only have one pair of ears so you shouldn’t ignore the impact of hearing damage. But numerous other health aspects, including your mental health, can be influenced by hearing problems. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to increases in the risk for problems like dementia and depression.
So your hearing health is connected inextricably to your overall well-being. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone may become a health hazard. So do yourself a favor and turn the volume down, just a bit.