We can enjoy our favorite music, movies, podcasts, videos, etc. wherever we go. Luckily, headphones allow us to continue listening to our favorite media without disturbing others in public or private settings. However, just because we always have access to headphones does not mean we should take advantage. You should always protect your ears with headphone safety.
How can headphones damage your hearing?
Exposure to loud noises is the main cause of hearing loss. With headphones blasting directly into your ears, it’s important to be aware of how long and how loudly we listen.
Once sound enters the ear, it causes the eardrum to vibrate. The vibration travels through the eardrum along small bones in the inner ear where it eventually reaches the cochlea. The cochlea is a chamber filled with fluid that contains thousands of small “hair-like” cells. As the vibrations hit the cochlea, the fluid vibrates and causes the hairs to move. Louder sounds produce stronger vibrations and make the hairs to move more.
Unfortunately, if you listen to loud sounds for too long, those hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration by causing them to bend or fold over. This creates the sensation of “temporary hearing loss” after being exposed to loud noises. Some hair cells recover with time, however, in some cases, they become too damaged to function. This hearing loss caused by loud noises is almost impossible to recover from. Currently, there is no treatment available for repairing inner ear damage.
Once you find the perfect album, audiobook, podcast, etc. it can be very easy to spend the entire day listening. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that you should not use your headphones for more than one hour a day.
An hour isn’t much, but you can always buy yourself more listening time if you keep the volume at a lower level. Permanent damage comes from hearing very loud sounds over a long period of time. If you listen at a safe level, you can enjoy your headphones for much longer.
For all the reasons mentioned above you should be careful about blasting music at high volumes. Personal hearing devices are usually maxed out around 105 to 110 dB (decibels). Any sounds that reach 85 dB cause permanent damage after two hours. However, being exposed to sounds from 105 to 110 dB causes damage in just five minutes. Therefore, your headphones have the potential to cause significant harm and you should enjoy your media at a volume of 70 dB or less to practice safe headphone use.
Health Insurance Questions?
We hope this information on protect your ears with headphone safety is helpful.
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