With more digital content available for consumption than ever before, it is no wonder that everyone you see is walking around wearing headphones. It is important to practice safe headphones use in order to protect your hearing.
Dangers of Headphones
The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss because of unsafe listening practices. This is partly due to the increase in noise-induced hearing loss caused by the use of headphones and earbuds.
Noise-induced hearing loss occurs when continuous exposure to loud noise damages the tiny hair cells within the inner ear. These hair cells are responsible for passing electrical impulses to the brain, where they are interpreted as sound.
Headphones and earbuds contain tiny speakers that push music straight into the ear canal. Because most earbud-style headphones are low quality, they transmit bass poorly and lack the ability to block out background noise. Because of this, users have to turn up the volume in order to hear their music clearly.
Over-the-ear headphones are a better headphone option than the earbud variety. Instead of delivering music directly into the ear, this style provides space between the speaker and the ear canal. But like their earbud counterparts, lower quality over-the-ear headphones do not efficiently transmit bass, requiring users to turn up the volume.
The safest headphone solution is to invest in a pair of high-quality noise-canceling or noise-isolating headphones.
Noise-canceling headphones use inverse waves to cancel out incoming sounds. This model focuses on blocking out low-frequency sounds like airplane or traffic noise. They don’t block high-frequency sounds like conversations.
Noise-isolating headphones create a seal around the ear. This physical barrier between the ear and the outside noise provides the highest level of protection.
Safe Listening Limits
If you don’t want to invest in an expensive pair of headphones, you can still protect your hearing by following the 60/60 rule.
This rule states that you should limit your music listening to 60 minutes at a time at no more than 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume.
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment with hearing expert, contact Elk Grove Hearing Care today.