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Always on headphones? Know how long you should use headphones to avoid hearing loss

by Adeela Hadait 26 Jun 2022
Always on headphones? Know how long you should use headphones to avoid hearing loss

A shocking report came out from the world health organization (WHO). 1.1 billion young people could suffer life-changing hearing damage if they’re exposed to loud noises. Do you know which kind of noise causes this hearing loss?

  • Eight hours of moderate noise exposure – 85 decibels.
  • Listen to the sound for 15 minutes if it is louder than 100 decibels.

Why, however, are young people the most at risk for noise-induced hearing loss among all adult populations? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most common cause of hearing damage is exposure to loud music through headphones while using a smart device. In fact, WHO estimates that the most serious causes of hearing damage can be identified in bars, clubs, and music venues.

Using headphones can lead to hearing loss

According to data, younger people listen to music more often on mobile devices than other ages. One study from WHO suggests that 50% of those who use headphones are hearing music at too loud a volume. According to this study, many young people blast out their music to the max volume. The statistics indicate that these individuals are able to do this at a much higher rate than those who are elderly. The inner ear can be damaged by too much loud music played through headphones, leading to hearing loss.

Using headphones with an Apple iPhone will allow you to get a maximum volume of 102 decibels. It is therefore important to keep in mind that even with just a few songs at this frequency range, damage to the hearing may occur. I think it’s easy to find yourself within unsafe levels even when you’re operating at lower levels.

There are several other groups who are concerned as well. One study conducted by Harvard Medical School in the United States concluded that the explosive growth in the popularity of headphones has led to a significant increase in hearing loss among under-20s. If hearing problems aren’t properly managed via headphones or earphones, people can live a lifetime. In fact, there’s no doubt about it.

What Causes Hearing Loss From Headphones?

Humans’ ears aren’t meant for loud noises, so it makes sense. Even very-low-frequency noises can be picked up by the ear. Why is that? You need it to survive. For example, rabbits and deer are animals that have high levels of fats. Animals like rabbits and deer have incredible hearing. Your ear evolved just like that. Even if it’s not as sensitive as a rabbit’s, it’s good for avoiding danger, not just communicating. There are rarely very loud noises in the natural world, but instead, there are quiet and subtle ones. As a result, the human ear isn’t built to handle loud noise. It’s built to deal with soft sounds. Because of this, we can damage our ears when we listen to artificially loud music.

A very complicated system, your ear actually makes sound through a reaction in your brain when tiny hairs vibrate inside a chamber inside your inner ear. This vibration is caused by the friction between different surfaces, and this friction causes the hairs in these surfaces to vibrate in various ways, creating the sounds that we hear.

In order for these vibrations to be stronger, loud music is often used. Over a long period of time, if the vibrations become too intense, the hairs become unable to bear the load. Additionally, they cease to function normally. In the event that a person spends longer than expected listening to music, and if the music is louder than usual, two things might happen:

It’s possible for the hairs to be damaged and lose sensitivity, but they’ll come back. When you leave a noisy place, your hearing may be hard to hear, but it will come back eventually. You’re overworking the hairs, but they’ll get better.

You can’t fix damaged hairs if you’ve done too much damage. The sound no longer vibrates them, so they’re useless. We get noise-induced hearing loss in this case. Your hearing has been permanently damaged.

How to keep your hearing good when you wear headphones

Wearing headphones can cause hearing damage, but you can prevent it. Therefore, if you would like to prevent permanent damage to your hearing, be sure to manage your hearing and use the information we have gathered as much as possible in order to protect your ears. It’s all about awareness. It’s easy to avoid harmful practices if you always think about a safe way to enjoy music. What can you do to make sure your hearing doesn’t get damaged by headphones that cause noise-induced hearing loss?

Turn down the volume

That’s how easy it is. There’s no risk of losing your hearing if you listen to 80 decibels for over 25 hours straight. This is 60 percent of what an iPhone can play. When you turn the volume down to 60%, you can still hear the music, and if you’ve got good headphones, you can really dance along to every beat. It’s easiest to avoid hearing loss problems with headphones if you keep the volume down.

Control your phone

Almost all smartphones come with a setting that allows you to set a maximum volume limit so that you do not accidentally exceed the safe level. If you do not find this feature in the settings menu, you can go online and search for it if you cannot find it. Parents can use this method of managing their child’s listening habits to make sure that their child listens to music in the most appropriate way.

Keep the volume down in loud places

Imagine you’re riding the metro and it’s noisy, or you’re on an aeroplane and the engine noise is messed up. You’re tempted to crank up the volume. You can hear more clearly and drown out the noise with loud music. It’s hard to hear a singer when background noise is going on. But the background noise doesn’t make your music quieter, so boosting the volume will raise your decibel levels, which could cause hearing problems. Try to wear noise-cancelling headphones instead of raising the volume to block out background noise.

Exposure limit

Make sure you don’t listen to high-volume music too often if you like it. Make sure you listen for a while. For around 10 minutes, 102 decibels is safe – the same as the average maximum volume on a smartphone. Don’t exceed your time limit. Protect your ears by stopping before the timer expires. Taking some time to listen to one song at a moderate volume will allow your ears to recover.

Using over-the-ear headphones

Compared to inner-ear earbuds, over-the-ear headphones are easier on the ears because they’re applied less directly to the eardrum. Using over-the-ear headphones can still damage your hearing, so don’t go too crazy. It should be noted, however, that they are generally safer since they provide a more even and smooth distribution of sound.

As close to 60/60 as you can

We are advocates of the 60/60 rule at Regain Hearing to make sure that people do not lose their hearing as a result of using headphones. If you follow this advice, you will be able to really limit any sort of hearing damage. In order to achieve this, you must limit your exposure to sound as well as listen to music at lower volumes while using headphones.

It is suggested that you listen to music at a volume of 60% for the duration of the session. By keeping your volume moderate for a short amount of time and taking breaks afterwards, you drastically lower the possibility of damage. It is better to wait for your body to heal itself in the event that any do occur. When you’re concerned about a child’s exposure to noise, this is a great rule to follow and to teach others.

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