Headphones are a device that best reflects the modern human condition. Today, headphones and earbuds let you separate yourself from everyone around you while at the same time 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 are. They’re wonderful. But headphones may also be a health hazard.
This is specifically true with regards to your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is very troubling.
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 (most people love to listen to their favorite music at full power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t annoy other people with her loud music.
This kind of headphone use is pretty common. Of course, headphones can be used for a lot of things but the general concept is the same.
We want to be able to listen to whatever we want without annoying people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But that’s where the hazard is: we’re exposing our ears to a significant amount of noise in an extended and intense way. After a while, that noise can cause damage, which leads to hearing loss. And a wide assortment of other health problems have been linked to hearing loss.
Protect Your Hearing
Hearing health, according to healthcare specialists, is a critical component of your complete health. Headphones are easy to get and that’s one reason why they create a health threat.
So here is the question, then, what can be done about it? Researchers have put forward a few tangible steps we can all take to help make headphones a little safer:
- Turn the volume down: 85dB is the highest volume that you should listen to your headphones at as outlined by the World Health organization (60dB is the common level of a conversation to put it in context). Regrettably, most mobile devices don’t evaluate their output in decibels. Try to make certain that your volume is lower than half or look into the output of your specific headphones.
- Take breaks: It’s tough not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite music. That’s easy to understand. But your hearing needs a bit of 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. Decreasing your headphone time and checking volume levels will definitely decrease injury.
- Volume warnings are important: Most mobile devices have warnings when the volume gets to be dangerous. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to heed these warnings.
- Restrict age: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are using headphones. And it may be wiser if we reduce that a little, 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.
You may want to consider minimizing your headphone use entirely if you are at all concerned about your health.
I Don’t Really Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?
You only get one pair of ears so you shouldn’t ignore the impact of hearing damage. But a few other health factors, including your mental health, can be impacted by hearing problems. Issues including have been linked to hearing impairment.
So your hearing health is connected inextricably to your total wellness. And that means your headphones could 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.