Is there a gadget that reflects the current human condition better than headphones? These days, headphones and earbuds allow you to separate 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 stay in tune to the news from everywhere. They’re great. But headphones may also be a health risk.
This is particularly true with regards to your hearing health. And this is something that the World Health Organization has also stated. That’s exceedingly worrying because headphones are everywhere.
The Hazard of Headphones And Earbuds
Frances enjoys Lizzo. And so she listens to Lizzo all of the time. Because Frances loves Lizzo so much, she also turns the volume way up (the majority of people love to jam out 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 type of headphone use is pretty common. Needless to say, headphones can be used for lots of purposes but the general concept 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 prolonged amount of noise. Hearing loss can be the result of the injury caused by this extended exposure. And a wide assortment of other health problems have been linked to hearing loss.
Keep Your Hearing Safe
Healthcare experts consider hearing health to be a key element of your overall wellness. And that’s the reason why headphones pose something of a health risk, particularly since they tend to be omnipresent (headphones are rather easy to get your hands on).
What can you do about it is the real question? In an effort to make headphones a bit safer to use, researchers have provided a few measures to take:
- Age restrictions: These days, younger and younger kids are using headphones. And it may be smarter if we reduce that a bit, limiting the amount of time younger children spend using headphones. Hearing loss won’t occur as soon if you can stop some damage when you’re younger.
- Don’t turn them up so loud: The World Health Organization suggests that your headphones not exceed a volume of 85dB (for context, the volume of a normal conversation is about 60dB). Most mobile devices, unfortunately, don’t have a dB volume meter built in. Try to be certain that your volume is lower than half or look up the output of your specific headphones.
- Heed to volume warnings: It’s likely that you listen to your music 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 heed these warnings.
- Take breaks: It’s hard not to crank up the volume when you’re listening to your favorite tunes. That’s easy to understand. But you need to take a bit of time to allow your hearing to recover. So think about giving yourself a five-minute rest from your headphones every now and again. The strategy is, every day give your ears some reduced volume time. Limiting your headphone time and checking volume levels will definitely lessen injury.
You might want to consider reducing your headphone use altogether if you are at all concerned 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 ears as unimportant (which you shouldn’t do, you only get one set of ears). But your hearing can have a huge impact on a number of other health factors, including your overall mental health. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to increases in the risk for issues like depression and dementia.
So your overall wellness is forever connected to the health of your hearing. Whether you’re listening to a podcast or your favorite music, your headphone may become a health risk. So do yourself a favor and down the volume, just a bit.