Is there a gadget that reflects the present human condition better than headphones? Today’s wireless headphones, AirPods, and earbuds permit you to link to a global community of sounds while simultaneously giving you the ability to isolate yourself from everyone you see. You can keep up with the news, watch Netflix, or listen to music anywhere you find yourself. It’s pretty awesome! But the way we tend to use them can also be a health risk.
This is specifically true regarding your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. That’s exceedingly troubling because headphones are everywhere.
Some Risks With Earbuds or Headphones
Frances enjoys listening to Lizzo all the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also cranks up the volume (there’s a special enjoyment in listening to your favorite song at full power). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to listen to her tunes.
This is a pretty common use of headphones. Of course, headphones can be used for a lot of purposes but the general idea 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 that’s where the hazard lies: we’re subjecting our ears to a significant amount of noise in a prolonged and intense way. Hearing loss can be the result of the injury caused by this prolonged exposure. And a wide assortment of other health issues have been connected to hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is a key component of your general health. And that’s the reason why headphones pose somewhat of a health hazard, particularly since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are very easy to get your hands on).
What can you do about it is the real question? Researchers have offered several tangible measures we can all use to help make headphones a little safer:
- Restrict age: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people these days. And it’s definitely a smart choice to minimize the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. Hearing loss won’t occur as soon if you can avoid some damage when you’re younger.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not go over a volume of 85dB (for context, the volume of a normal conversation is about 60dB). Regrettably, most mobile devices don’t measure their output in decibels. Try to be sure that your volume is less than half or look into the output of your particular headphones.
- Pay attention to volume warnings: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. So if you use one to listen to music, you need to heed these warnings.
- Take breaks: It’s difficult not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite tunes. Most people can relate to that. But your hearing needs a little time to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute rest. The concept is to give your ears some time with lower volumes each day. Limiting your headphone time and watching volume levels will undoubtedly reduce injury.
You may want to think about decreasing your headphone usage altogether if you are at all worried about your health.
I Don’t Really Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?
When you’re younger, it’s not hard to consider damage to your hearing as trivial (which you should not do, you only have one pair of ears). But numerous other health aspects, including your mental health, can be influenced by hearing problems. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to increases in the risk for problems like dementia and depression.
So your total wellness is forever linked to the health of your hearing. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone might become a health hazard. So the volume down a little and do yourself a favor.