HEARING TIPS

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Headphones are a device that best demonstrates the modern human condition. These days, headphones and earbuds enable you to separate yourself from people around you while at the same time permitting you to connect to the whole world of sounds. They allow you to watch Netflix or listen to music or keep up with the news from everywhere. It’s pretty amazing! But the way we tend to use them can also be a health risk.

This is particularly true regarding your hearing health. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is very worrisome.

Some Dangers With Earbuds or Headphones

Frances loves to listen to Lizzo all the time. When she’s really getting into it she usually cranks up the volume (most people love to listen to their favorite music at full volume). She’s a respectful person, though, so Frances uses high-quality headphones to enjoy her tunes.

This type of headphone usage is relatively common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for a lot of purposes but the overall idea is the same.

We use headphones because we want a private listening experience (so we are able to listen to anything we want) and also so we don’t bother the people near us (usually). But that’s where the danger is: our ears are exposed to an intense and extended amount of noise. After a while, that noise can cause injury, which leads to hearing loss. And a wide assortment of other health conditions have been associated with hearing loss.

Keep Your Hearing Safe

Healthcare experts think of hearing health as a crucial component of your general health. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they present a health risk.

The question is, then, what can you do about it? Researchers have put forward numerous tangible steps we can all take to help make headphones a bit safer:

  • Take breaks: When you’re jamming out to music you really enjoy, it’s tough not to pump it up. That’s easy to understand. But your hearing needs a bit of time to recover. So consider giving yourself a five-minute break from your headphones now and then. The concept is to give your ears some time with lower volumes each day. By the same token, monitoring (and limiting) your headphone-wearing time will help keep higher volumes from damaging your ears.
  • Restrict age: Nowadays, younger and younger kids are wearing headphones. And it’s definitely a wise move to reduce the amount of time younger people are spending with headphones. The longer we can prevent the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss sets in.
  • 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.
  • Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not go over a volume of 85dB (60dB is the common level of a conversation to put it in context). Sadly, most mobile devices don’t evaluate their output in decibels. Find out the max volume of your headphones or keep the volume at no more than half.

You might want to consider decreasing your headphone use altogether if you are at all concerned about your health.

I Don’t Actually Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?

When you’re young, it’s easy to consider damage to your ears as unimportant (which you should not do, you only get one set of ears). But numerous other health aspects, including your mental health, can be affected by hearing problems. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to increases in the chances of problems like depression and dementia.

So your total well-being is forever connected to the health of your ears. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone might become a health risk. So do yourself a favor and turn the volume down, just a bit.

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