Headphones are a device that best reflects the modern human condition. Nowadays, headphones and earbuds allow you to isolate yourself from people around you while simultaneously enabling you to connect to the whole world of sounds. You can keep up on the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you find yourself. It’s pretty amazing! But headphones might also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your hearing health is concerned. And the World Health Organization agrees. That’s exceedingly troubling because headphones can be found everywhere.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances loves Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo all of the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also turns the volume way up (the majority of people love to jam out to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This is a pretty normal use of headphones. Certainly, there are plenty of other purposes and places you could use them, but the fundamental purpose 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 this is where it can become dangerous: our ears are exposed to an intense and prolonged amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the consequence of the damage caused by this extended exposure. And hearing loss has been linked to a wide variety of other health-related ailments.
Protect Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare experts, is a crucial element of your overall health. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they present a health threat.
What can you do about it is the real question? In order to make headphones a little safer to use, researchers have offered numerous steps to take:
- Restrict age: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it may be wiser if we cut back on that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. The longer we can avoid the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss takes hold.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: 85dB is the highest volume that you should listen to your headphones at as outlined by the World Health organization (60dB is the normal level of a conversation for context). Most mobile devices, regrettably, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Determine the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at no more than half.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. It’s very important for your ear health to stick to these warnings as much as you can.
- Take breaks: When you’re jamming out to music you really enjoy, it’s tough not to crank it up. That’s understandable. But you need to take a bit of time to allow your ears to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The idea is to give your ears some time with lower volumes each day. Decreasing your headphone time and monitoring volume levels will definitely decrease damage.
You may want to think about lessening your headphone usage entirely if you are at all concerned about your health.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
You only get one set 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 issues. Issues including have been linked to hearing impairment.
So your hearing health is linked inextricably to your all-around wellness. And that means your headphones might be a health risk, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.