Wednesday 31 July 2019

Could Headphones Be Damaging Your Hearing?

We all like to listen to music sometimes but did you know that listening to music through headphones could be damaging your ears? If you listen to music regularly and you like to turn it up loud, you could be doing long term damage to your hearing. If left unchecked, this could lead to irreversible damage to your ears and you might end up with permanent hearing loss. That doesn’t mean you can never use headphones again, but you do need to be careful. This is a quick guide on how to tell whether you’re doing any damage and how to use your headphones safely. 

Things To Watch Out For 

If you catch the signs of hearing damage early on and take steps to prevent it, you can avoid permanent damage. The first thing that you should look out for is any sign that you’re struggling to hear as well as you used to. If you find that you’re asking people to repeat themselves a lot or you constantly have to turn the volume up on the TV, that’s a sign that your hearing is starting to fail and you need to look after it. 

It’s not just hearing loss that you need to watch out for either. If you have a ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, that could be caused by listening to music through headphones too loud. Most of the time, it’s not permanent but if you continue to listen to music at the same volume, you might find that the ringing is there the majority of the time. If you do find that you have ringing in your ears on a regular basis, you should read this free tinnitus treatment guide to see if there is anything that you can do. Things, like changing your diet, reducing stress, and ensuring that you get enough sleep can help to relieve the symptoms but in more serious cases, you might need hearing aids to help manage the symptoms. 

If you experience any pain in your ears, either while you’re listening through headphones or shortly after, that’s a very bad sign. You should stop listening immediately and if the pain persists, speak with your doctor. 

How To Protect Yourself 

Listening to music through headphones is fine and it won’t damage your hearing, as long as you know how to do it safely. These are some of the best ways to protect your hearing when listening through headphones. 

Often, people turn the volume up on their headphones because they want to shut off any outside noise. When you’re doing a workout, for example, you don’t want to hear anybody else around you because it breaks your focus so you’ll turn the volume to max. But if you invest in a good pair of noise cancelling headphones, you won’t need to do that because the background noise is reduced. Usually, a set of larger headphones are better than small earbuds that fit directly into the ear because they block out more of the background noise. That means you can still shut out the rest of the noise but you don’t have to listen to music too loud and risk damaging your ears. 

The 60/60 rule is a good guideline to follow if you listen to music through headphones on a regular basis. You should never put the volume above 60 percent and you should only listen to music through headphones for around 60 minutes per day. That way, you can still listen, but you’re limiting yourself so you don’t do any damage to your hearing. 

Most music players and phones have a volume limiter built in. You should check the setting and see if you can set a limit so you never exceed a safe volume when you’re listening to music. If you don’t have a limiter, you’ll just have to keep a close eye on the volume and make sure that you don’t exceed the 60 percent limit. 

As a general rule, you should try to keep the volume below 85 decibels. For reference, 30 decibels is a whisper, 60 decibels is a normal conversation. The closest to 80 decibels is busy traffic in the city centre. If you’re getting close to the sound of a blender, that’s too loud at around 90 decibels. Listening to loud music once in a while isn’t going to cause hearing damage but if you’re doing it regularly, you might end up with permanent hearing damage. 

Nobody thinks that it’s going to happen to them until it does, so you need to change your habits now before it’s too late. 

*This is a collaborative post*


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