The use of headphones has increased as our society and culture become more connected through technology. Headphones allow us to listen to music and converse from any location at any time. The convenience and mobility that headphones provide cannot be emphasized.
This is especially true during the pandemic when our culture spends more time with virtual meetings and headphones. Despite the convenience and improved utility of headphones, concerns concerning their safety have been expressed. There is a thing as healthy headphone use; all you need to know is what sound levels are safe to listen to and when to take a break from them.
Let’s look at how will sound cause hearing loss:
Isn’t sound meant to be a tool for communication and environmental awareness? Yes, sound is an essential form of communication that helps us navigate our surroundings; nevertheless, the inner ear is extremely sensitive to the sound balance it senses.
There are thousands of cells in the ears, some of them have small hairlike structures called hair cells that transfer sound from the ears back to the brain, where it is further processed.
Excessive sound can permanently destroy these cells, disrupting the sound transmission system. Extreme sound can disrupt the link between hair cells and nerve cells, causing damage even if the hair cells themselves are normal. In short, one thing is sure: too loud sound is hazardous.
For how long is it healthy to wear your headphones per day?
Is there a limit to how long you may wear your headphones every day? There is, in fact, such a thing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the answer to how long you should wear your headphones every day is one hour.
This may seem absurd to you or your kid (or both of you), but the truth is that the longer you listen and the louder it becomes, the faster your hearing will deteriorate. Hearing loss used to be a concern solely as people become older, but it’s now far more common in young generations due to the way we listen to music. Teenagers and young adults are more likely to attend concerts and nightclubs.
Maybe you’ve stopped going to clubs, but have you stopped listening to loud music? If not, you should be aware that the WHO estimates that over 1.1 billion people between 12-35 are at risk of hearing loss. According to studies, there has been a rise in hearing damage among younger age groups over the last decade, most likely due to personal electronics. iPods, smartphones, headphones, and other technology allow us to immerse ourselves in our musical universe.
Zoning out from the rest of the world and focusing on your music can be a lovely experience. However, if you don’t use your equipment correctly, the cost might be your hearing. Only 3.5 percent of American teenagers suffered hearing loss 25 years ago in 1994, but by 2006, that number had risen to 6 percent. It’s been 13 years, and the statistics are still growing.
To avoid hearing loss in yourself or your children, you should stick to the WHO’s advice of wearing headphones for no more than one hour per day and never turning up the volume on your listening device above 60% of maximum volume.
You can keep your hearing when you listen to music with these recommendations. The duration of time you listen to loud sounds and the volume of those sounds are two main factors that contribute to irreversible hearing loss.
Most talks are between 60 and 70 dB, which are not harmful to your hearing. However, if you live near a building site and stand near an idle bulldozer about to tear up the road, the decibel level will be around 85. If you listened to it at that volume all day without protecting your ears, you’d have permanent hearing damage in about 8 hours.
Thunderclaps can reach 120 dB, causing hearing loss in as little as 9 seconds. This loss can be abrupt at times, or it can build up over time. In most cases, it isn’t evident at first. Most people do not realize the amount of the damage until it is too late.
Headphones, on the other hand, might be beneficial to your auditory health if used correctly. These are the greatest over-ear or noise-cancelling headphones because they allow you to hear what you want to hear at much lower volumes. Most people use headphones to block out distracting background noises, but if you can’t listen to them, you’re less likely to keep cranking up the volume.
Headphones can cause hearing loss in as little as four minutes when used at maximum volume. As an adult, you’re probably shocked to read this. Your teen, on the other hand, may not comprehend why you’re asking them to take off their headphones or turn down the music. Show them this page if they don’t want to spend money on hearing aids before they’re old and grey!
The WHO also urges headphone producers and other regulatory authorities to intervene and develop listening devices that will not permanently harm those who use them. It’s not just about headphones. Loud concerts and clubs should also take precautions to protect their patrons’ hearing. Offering earplugs or quiet places where people may take breaks from the noise would undoubtedly be beneficial.
Here’s a tip for you! This is how you can set the safest volume:
Hearing loss can develop after just over an hour of listening because most personal listening devices nowadays can reach 120 dB, which is equivalent to placing a rock concert in your ears. It’s too loud if you can’t hear anything around you, such as a loved one asking you a question from an arm’s length away.
Conclusion: When using headphones, audiologists recommend that you not turn the volume up more than 60% of the maximum volume. You should also limit your listening time to no more than 60 minutes per day. You should listen for a shorter period if the sound is stronger.