Is there a gadget that reflects the modern human condition better than headphones? Nowadays, headphones and earbuds allow you to separate yourself from people around you while at the same time allowing you to connect to the whole world of sounds. They allow you to watch Netflix or listen to music or keep up with the news from anywhere. It’s pretty amazing! But headphones might also be a health risk.
This is specifically true with regards to your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. That’s exceedingly troubling because headphones are everywhere.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances loves to listen to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (there’s a special satisfaction in listening to your favorite song at full power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t bother others with her loud music.
This kind of headphone use is fairly common. Certainly, there are plenty of other purposes and places you might use them, but the basic purpose is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever we want without annoying people around us, that’s the reason why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard is: we’re exposing our ears to a considerable amount of noise in an extended and intense way. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the harm caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide variety of other health issues have been connected to hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare experts, is an important element of your overall health. And that’s why headphones present somewhat of a health risk, especially since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are quite easy to get your hands on).
What can you do about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have offered several measures to take:
- Heed to volume warnings: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s extremely important for your ear health to stick to these warnings as much as possible.
- Turn the volume down: The World Health Organization recommends that your headphones not go over a volume of 85dB (for context, the volume of an average conversation is something like 60dB). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t measure their output in decibels. Find out the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at half or less.
- Restrict age: These days, younger and younger kids are using headphones. And it may be wiser if we reduce that a little, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. The longer we can prevent the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss sets in.
- Take breaks: It’s tough not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s understandable. But you need to take some time to let your hearing to recover. So consider giving yourself a five-minute rest from your headphones now and then. The idea is to give your ears some time with lower volumes every day. Limiting your headphone time and watching volume levels will definitely lessen injury.
If you’re at all concerned about your ear health, you may want to restrict the amount of time you spend using your headphones entirely.
I Don’t Actually Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?
You only get one pair of ears so you shouldn’t ignore the impact of hearing damage. But several other health factors, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing issues. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to increases in the chances of problems like depression and dementia.
So your overall well-being is forever linked to the health of your ears. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone could become a health hazard. So turn down the volume a little and do yourself a favor.