Headphones are a device that best demonstrates the modern human condition. Today, headphones and earbuds permit you to isolate yourself from people around you while at the same time permitting you to connect to the entire world of sounds. They allow you to listen to music or watch Netflix or stay in tune to the news from anywhere. They’re great. But headphones may also be a health risk.
This is particularly true regarding your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. That’s exceedingly troubling because headphones are everywhere.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (there’s a particular satisfaction in listening to your favorite tune at max volume). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t bother others with her loud music.
This kind of headphone use is fairly common. Of course, headphones can be used for lots of things but the overall idea is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever 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 extended amount of noise. Over time, that noise can cause damage, which will lead to hearing loss. And a wide range of other health conditions have been connected to hearing loss.
Protect Your Hearing
Healthcare specialists think of hearing health as an essential component of your overall health. Headphones are easy to get 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 provided several measures to take:
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being used by younger and younger people these days. And it’s probably a smart choice to limit the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. Hearing loss won’t develop as soon if you can prevent some damage when you’re younger.
- Take breaks: When you’re listening to music you really enjoy, it’s difficult not to crank it up. That’s understandable. 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 every now and again. The idea is, each day give your ears some lower volume time. Limiting your headphone time and checking volume levels will undoubtedly lessen injury.
- Listen to volume warnings: It’s likely that you listen to your music on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you start pumping up the volume a little too much. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to observe these warnings.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: 85dB is the maximum volume that you should listen to your headphones at according to the World Health organization (to put it in context, the volume of an average conversation is about 60dB). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t calculate their output in decibels. Try to be sure that your volume is lower than half or look up the output of your specific headphones.
You may want to consider lessening your headphone usage altogether if you are at all worried about your health.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s easy to consider damage to your hearing as unimportant (which you should not do, you only get one pair of ears). But numerous other health aspects, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing issues. Conditions such as have been connected to hearing impairment.
So your hearing health is linked inextricably to your all-around wellness. And that means your headphones might be a health hazard, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.