Is there a device that exemplifies the modern human condition better than headphones? These days, headphones and earbuds allow you to isolate yourself from people around you while at the same time enabling you to connect to the entire world of sounds. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you find yourself. It’s pretty amazing! But the way we generally use them can also be a health risk.
This is specifically true regarding your hearing health. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also acknowledged. Headphones are everywhere so this is especially troubling.
The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo a lot. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (there’s a particular enjoyment in listening to your favorite song at max power). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.
This kind of headphone use is fairly common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of things but the basic concept is the same.
We use headphones because we want the listening experience to be somewhat private (so we are able to listen to anything we want) and also so we’re not bothering the people near us (usually). But that’s where the danger is: we’re subjecting our ears to a significant amount of noise in an extended and intense way. Over time, that noise can cause injury, which leads to hearing loss. And a wide assortment of other health conditions have been connected to hearing loss.
Safeguard Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is a major element of your complete health. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they create a health risk.
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 offered numerous steps to take:
- Restrict age: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people these days. And it’s probably a smart decision to limit the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. Hearing loss won’t develop as soon if you can stop some damage when you’re younger.
- 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 around 60dB). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter built in. Try to make sure that your volume is less than half or look up the output of your particular headphones.
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to pump up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s understandable. But your hearing needs a little time to recover. So every now and then, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The idea is, every day give your ears some lower volume time. In the same way, monitoring (and restricting) your headphone-wearing time can help keep moderate volumes from damaging your ears.
- Pay attention to volume warnings: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume becomes dangerous. So if you use one to listen to music, you need to observe these warnings.
You may want to consider reducing your headphone usage entirely if you are at all concerned about your health.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
You only have one pair of ears so you shouldn’t disregard the impact of hearing damage. But several other health factors, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing problems. Problems such as have been connected to hearing impairment.
So your total wellness is forever linked to the health of your hearing. And that means your headphones might be a health hazard, whether you’re listening to music or a baking podcast. So turn down the volume a little and do yourself a favor.