Is there a device that reflects the current human condition better than headphones? Nowadays, headphones and earbuds permit you to isolate yourself from everyone around you while at the same time permitting you to connect to the entire world of sounds. They let you watch Netflix or listen to music or keep up with the news from everywhere. They’re incredible. But headphones may also be a health hazard.
At least, as far as your ears are concerned. And the World Health Organization agrees. Headphones are everywhere so this is especially worrisome.
The Danger of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo all of the time. When she’s really jamming out she normally cranks up the volume (the majority of people love to listen to their favorite music at full power). Frances uses high-quality headphones so she won’t bother others with her loud music.
This type of headphone usage is relatively common. Sure, there are plenty of other reasons and places you might use them, but the basic function is the same.
We want to be able to listen to anything we want without disturbing people around us, that’s why we use headphones. But that’s where the danger lies: our ears are subjected to an intense and extended amount of noise. After a while, that noise can cause damage, which will lead to hearing loss. And a wide assortment of other health issues have been associated with hearing loss.
Safeguard Your Hearing
Healthcare professionals think of hearing health as a major component of your all-around well-being. Headphones are easy to get a hold of and that’s one reason why they pose a health hazard.
What can you do about it is the real question? So that you can make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have provided numerous steps to take:
- Turn the volume down: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not go beyond a volume of 85dB (to put it in context, the volume of a typical conversation is around 60dB). Most mobile devices, regrettably, don’t have a dB volume meter standard. Try to be certain that your volume is lower than half or look into the output of your specific headphones.
- Age restrictions: Headphones are being worn by younger and younger people nowadays. And it may be smarter if we reduce that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend wearing headphones. The longer we can stop the damage, the more time you’ll have before hearing loss sets in.
- Take breaks: When you’re listening to music you really enjoy, it’s difficult not to pump it up. Most people can relate to that. But your hearing needs a bit of time to recover. So every now and again, give yourself at least a five minute break. The strategy is, every day give your ears some lower volume time. Decreasing your headphone time and monitoring volume levels will definitely reduce damage.
- Volume warnings are important: It’s likely that you listen to your tunes on your mobile device, and most mobile devices have built-in warnings when you start pumping up the volume a bit too much. So if you use a mobile device to listen to music, you need to observe these warnings.
You might want to think about minimizing your headphone use entirely if you are at all worried about your health.
I Don’t Really Need to Worry About my Hearing, Right?
You only get one set of ears so you shouldn’t disregard the impact of hearing damage. But your hearing can have a big impact on a number of other health factors, including your general mental health. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to increases in the risk for issues like dementia and depression.
So your general 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 do yourself a favor and down the volume, just a little.