Nowadays you see headphones everywhere around you, but that doesn't mean they're completely safe. Listening to music through headphones can cause damage to your hearing if you aren't careful. According to a 2011 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, the usage of headphones has led to a major increase in the prevalence of hearing loss. Here some interesting background information and some great tips to help you prevent hearing damage through headphones.
The key danger of headphones is the fact that they can produce very loud levels of sound very close to your ear. This is dangerous for your hearing because loud noises, in general, are damaging to your ears. When sound waves reach our ears, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. Louder sounds cause stronger vibrations, which cause the hairs in your ears to move more intensely. And when you listen to sounds that are too loud for too long, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration cause they're bent or fold over. This is why you'll experience temporary hearing loss. The hair cells need time to recover from extreme vibrations. But in some cases, the cells never recover which causes permanent hearing loss. Here are some great tips to listen carefully in the future:
1. Turn down the volume
A really obvious tip but it's the single biggest change you can make to protect your hearing.
2. Limit your exposure
Along with turning down the volume, you can also protect your ears by reducing your listening time. A great rule you could apply is the “60-60 rule”: Don’t listen at any louder than 60% of max volume for any longer than 60 minutes at a time.
3. Use noise-canceling headphones
Most people listen at a high volume to drown out other sounds. Noise-canceling headphones can be a solution as they block out external sound, letting you enjoy your music or videos at a lower volume without ambient noises.
4. Use over-the-ear models
Audiologists and otologists frequently recommend using over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear or earbud-style models. Over-the-ear headphones increase the distance between your eardrums and the speakers, lowering the chance for hearing loss.
But there are many more ways you could get hearing damage
Curious what the most common reasons are for hearing damage? Check out this article! And yeah, headphones are most definitely one of them.