Whether you’re jogging, talking to someone in a virtual meeting, commuting to work, or simply listening to music, earphones can be convenient for any given situation.
But in certain situations, blasting music against your eardrums can drown out much of the “outside” world and damage our hearing. This can often lead to trips and falls, and accidents when they are not aware of their surroundings. In fact, studies have shown that 26% of individuals who wear earphones in public experience an accident.
That said, most sports enthusiasts, cyclists, and athletes should not wear earphones if they want to have full awareness of their surroundings. But other than impeding our spatial and environmental awareness, wearing earphones on a daily basis could cause problems in the long-term.
But what do findings say about the effects of earphones on hearing? How will this affect the development process of young adults and the general public? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
The Effects Of Earphones On Hearing
Throughout much of the previous year, many young individuals have relied on earphones for communication, especially when online classes have become more prevalent due to the pandemic.
Earphones give users much-needed privacy for meetings while also coming in handy when you want to listen to music without disturbing others. Recent earphones also feature a transparency mode, which can help individuals resume normal awareness levels, even when they have earphones on.
But even though earphones have a plethora of utilitarian benefits, it can also cause problems to the person’s senses. This is especially true for users that are always listening on higher volumes. In fact, certain research studies have shown that earphones and headphones can potentially damage your hearing if the decibels are high enough.
Much of these hearing problems are attributed to how earphones are being worn, with the sound going directly towards the eardrum. Much of the sound waves will go through the middle ear, then towards the inner ear, which is then picked up by little sensory cells in the cochlea. But when the decibels reach a certain limit, it can affect hearing.
Another major problem with this is that compared to other injuries to the body, damage to hearing in the inner ear is often permanent. This means that hearing will get even worse as you listen to more loud noises.
Should You Be Worried?
Well, you shouldn’t be too worried, unless you’re living in an area that’s got a good amount of noise pollution or your workplace has loud machinery. But in most cases, the effects of hearing are not immediate; this is one of the reasons why most young men and individuals disregard advice in lowering the volume of the music.
If you’re worried that you might be losing your sense of hearing, you can always get professional help from medical practitioners that are well-versed in audiology and hearing. Fortunately, there are hearing experts that are selling their audiology practice, which can help with your situation. Not only will they be able to comprehensively diagnose your condition, but they are also known for selling state-of-the-art hearing aids. After all, it’s better to address the problem than regretting it afterward. ;
So, what are some symptoms that you should be looking out for? Here’s what you should be mindful of:
- When you start hearing ringing in your ears right after being exposed to loud noises.
- Ear fatigue will usually set in, which is characterized by discomfort, loss of sensitivity, and tiredness.
- Muffled hearing and not being able to discern certain types of noise and speech.
- Having to turn up the volume of the radio and speakers just to hear properly.
These symptoms will usually point towards a good degree of hearing loss. Thus, it’s important that we take care of our ears by being conscious of these symptoms. Some effective ways of maintaining good ear health include:
- Experts suggest following the 60/60 rule, which means that you should be using your earphones for only 60 minutes in a day, with the volume being at least 60%.
- If you’re not able to follow this rule due to pressing concerns, be sure to take breaks in between every use.
- Avoid listening to loud music from speakers and on your earphones.
- Headphones have a less-pronounced effect than earphones.
One important rule of thumb that you should remember is that if you can’t hear any noise outside, the volume is too loud.
While earphones and headphones can be used for entertainment, academic, and work purposes, it’s important to keep in mind that our sense of hearing can be damaged by loud noises if we’re not careful. Thus, it’s essential that we take breaks in between every use of our earphones.