Is there a gadget that exemplifies the present human condition better than headphones? Nowadays, headphones and earbuds allow you to isolate yourself from people around you while simultaneously permitting you to connect to the entire world of sounds. You can keep up on the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music wherever you find yourself. It’s pretty awesome! But headphones may also be a health hazard.
This is particularly 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. When she’s really getting into it she usually cranks up the volume (the majority of people love to listen to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a considerate person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This kind of headphone usage is pretty common. Certainly, there are plenty of other reasons and places you could use them, but the primary function 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 danger 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 damage caused by this prolonged exposure. And hearing loss has been connected to a wide variety of other health-related conditions.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare professionals, is a vital element of your overall health. And that’s the reason why headphones present somewhat of a health risk, especially since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are quite easy to get a hold of).
What can be done about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have put forward numerous steps to take:
- Turn down the volume: The World Health Organization recommends that your headphones not exceed a volume of 85dB (60dB is the typical volume of a conversation for context). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t calculate their output in decibels. Try to be certain that your volume is lower than half or look up the output of your particular headphones.
- Age restrictions: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it might be smarter if we reduce that a bit, 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.
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. Most people can relate to that. But you should take some time to let your ears 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 hurting your ears.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. It’s very important for your ear health to adhere to these cautions as much as possible.
If you’re at all worried about your ear health, you might want to restrict the amount of time you spend using your headphones entirely.
It’s Only My Hearing, Right?
You only have one set of ears so you shouldn’t dismiss the impact of hearing damage. But your hearing can have a huge impact on numerous other health factors, including your overall mental health. Conditions like have been connected to hearing impairment.
So the health of your hearing is linked inextricably to your total well-being. 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.