Headphones and earphones have become an integral part of our day-to-day lives without knowing the impact of it on our Hearing. One has to wonder, do headphones cause hearing loss, or is that a scare tactic to make teens take out their earphones?
However, many studies suggest that earphones cause hearing loss. This isn’t caused by using them, necessarily. Like most things, headphones can be used incorrectly and cause damage to our health. By using them too often and too loudly, we can irreparably damage our ability to hear. This is a primary concern for young people who listen to music too loudly and too frequently.
16% of the Population Worldwide suffers from Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The Portable Cassette Players was launched in the 1980s. Since then, there has been continuous discussion on the impact that headphones and their volume levels can have on an individual’s hearing. From the 1980s to 2020, there has been tremendous growth in technology.
The primary concern with the headphones is the volume exposure that they give the ears. Earphones are capable of producing very loud levels of sound very close to the ear and hence are very dangerous. However, it must be noted that it is not always about the volume of the headphones but also the long duration for which the earphones are used. Earphones are exposed to germs also as they are exposed to too many places where they are kept. Sharing the earphones paves way for the transfer of these germs which further induces harmful effects on ears.
Today, people have completely got dependent on their mobile phones and MP3 players. Not only for their music needs but all types of listening. Thus, making earphones and headphones a basic necessity these days. People find it hard to live without it. But, listening to loud music through earphones and headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing.
This article lays down the theory if headphones and earphones can cause noise-induced hearing loss. But if you suspect you have hearing loss, we have something for you, that too completely free.
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So what exactly the problem is?
There are several situations where people have started using a pair of tiny speakers inside or over their ears such as:
When you’re traveling, you feel incomplete without listening to music or watching a video.
While exercising, morning walks, jogging, cycling, hard workouts in the gym do not start without putting the music ON.
Students find it hard to concentrate without listening to rock music while studying in the college or at home.
Bikers, while commuting, want to cut out themselves from all the honking and traffic noise so put loud music or podcast ON.
While clubbing, when loudspeaker got complaints about creating noise pollution, “Silent Disco” was introduced and now has become a new trend where people want to dance to their own choice of music.
All of the above and similar situations where people intentionally or unintentionally have got so used to earphones and headphones. In fact that they have put their hearing power in grave danger. They have started experiencing hearing loss at a very early age.
These devices as long as they are played at low volumes and shorter spans do not impact much. But the usage of earphones and headphones right from the time we wake up in the morning and till the time we go to bed, and for some even after they go to sleep, at a very loud volume is putting hearing ability at high risk.
How does noise-induced hearing loss occur in the above-mentioned situations?
The human ear contains three parts – namely inner ear, middle part, outer ear. The inner ear contains tiny hair cells that send signals to our brain through vibrations. When sound is too loud and for a long duration, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration. Hair cells bend or fold over when exposed to loud noises.
Headphones and earphones are placed much closed to the outer ear and can produce very loud levels of sound very close to the ear. Long exposure to loud sounds through these devices can damage these hair cells resulting in a hearing loss known as Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, or NIHL.
Unlike an injury to other body parts, hair cell damage never recovers. This type of hearing loss occurs gradually, cumulative, and without obvious warning signs. Thus in the majority of people, it goes unnoticed until it’s too late. It’s not just restricted to elderly people; instead, it is becoming more of an issue for children and teenagers.
How to prevent noise-induced hearing loss?
Don’t panic; you don’t need to snip all your headphones cords to prevent hearing loss. Making sure to keep a reasonable volume can protect your ears from hearing loss; limiting your use of these devices helps as well. It’s a smart move to wear headphones with either good passive or active noise cancellation. By reducing the external noise, you can play music at a safe level and still hear it relatively loud and clear. Besides, take time during the day to enjoy silence or quiet noise, and never fall asleep with music playing through your headphones.
NIHL is irreversible but is preventable too just by making the following changes in headphone usage pattern.
Reduce the volume and listening time. Follow “60-60 rule” – Listen at 60% of the total volume and not more than 60 minutes at a time. Take a break and give 5-10 minutes rest to ears.
Choose headphones wisely. Select noise-cancelling headphones that can cut the outside noise. This enables you to listen to sound from your phone or MP3 player at a much lower volume. Also, always go for over-the-ear headphones instead of a tiny pair of in-ear earbuds. This would increase the distance between the ear and the speaker is little more thus reduces the chance of hearing loss.
Check with the people around you. If someone, sitting next to you or standing at an arms distance from you. If you can listen to sound coming out of your headphones. Or if you have to raise your voice while talking to them; then you immediately need to lower the volume.
Schedule a Hearing Test. If you have buzzing, roaring, or ringing in your ears, or natural sounds around you are muffled or distorted after you take out your headphones, you should immediately book an appointment with a hearing expert known as an Audiologist.
To learn more about NIHL and safe hearing methods or to have your hearing examined at Aanvii Hearing, schedule a consultation with one of our audiologists.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
Historical information, in addition to the latest research, presents there are various advantages to getting your hearing tested early if hearing loss is suspected. Early detection with Hearing Test can imply the difference between a smooth transition into better hearing or going through the struggles of relearning how you can hear.
Nowadays most of us lead fairly busy lives. Which means some issues get pushed to the back of the line. However, when it comes to your health, it’s never a good idea to place issues at the back-burner. That’s especially true in terms of getting our hearing checked. Now you might be thinking that this is one examination you’ll be able to delay for some time, especially in case you haven’t observed any signs. However, there are some excellent reasons to get a check-up. Listed here are seven benefits of the hearing tests.
This article lays down the theory about the benefits of a hearing test. But if you are searching for practical results, we have something for you, that too completely free.
Free Hearing Assessment
1 – Better Family Relationships
When individuals lose hearing they have a tendency to start withdrawing from conversations and relationships with others. They could really feel like a hindrance, at all times asking people to repeat themselves or, they might be embarrassed they’ll observe conversations so that they avoid them. Even at work!
It’s usually a slow process and will be tough for those around you to identify. They might mistake it for a bad temper, attitude, or depression. You don’t have to sit down again and settle for the hearing loss. It is advisable to do something about it. The sooner you detect your hearing loss the better it’s to get help and enjoy your relationships as you did before.
Usually, members of the family might discover a hearing loss earlier than the individual with the difficulty. This could result in arguments over the volume of TV and films or who said what about something. Generally, individuals can misinterpret your actions if it appears you’re ignoring them (rather than just not hearing them). After you have the results of your hearing test, you may take action to fix any problems, including family fights.
2 – Hearing The Little Things You Miss
A hearing test offers a roadmap of types to allow the audiologist to find out where any hearing loss has occurred and the way best to program a hearing instrument so it will let you hear sounds in that range again. This means you’ll hear sounds you’ve been missing like a ticking clock, rustling leaves, chirping birds, or children’s laughter. It’s certainly one solution to brighten up any day!
No scientific study needs to be cited here. One recent hearing aid recipient told us the method of relearning how to hear was a struggle. When he began hearing sounds he forgot were necessary to him, he was quite grateful for his results.
3 – Removing The Uncertainty
In the event you’re considering getting a hearing test, you most likely suspect that you’ve got some hearing loss. Dwelling with uncertainty is irritating. Hearing tests are painless and take only about an hour of your time. Once you have the results, you’ll be able to decide the best to move forward. For many individuals, there’s relief in realizing that hearing aids will improve their quality of life.
If you happen to get tested and the results come back normal, you’ll be able to move forward with the confidence of knowing you have good hearing health. Should you get tested and hearing loss is found, you’ll be able to help yourself avoid all the potential health and personal issues mentioned previously. Identifying hearing loss and early treatment can change your life for the better on so many levels.
4 – Better Social Relationships
Socializing is awkward if you’re not hearing portions of conversation due to background noise or if individuals believe you’re aloof. There can also be that little concern about not hearing all the details of what the boss says at a meeting. Aren’t you tired of saying, “What?” or asking individuals to repeat themselves? Research indicates that better hearing results in better health as well.
5 – Catching Other Health Issues
Generally, hearing loss is a symptom. It might be caused by an infection or an earwax impaction or potentially serious health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or kidney disease.
Hearing loss has been linked with cognitive decline, brain tissue loss, depression, dementia, and an elevated risk of falling. The older you’re, the tougher it is to get better from the effects of hearing loss.
Another major reason for this is as the ear is not exposed to the particular frequency of sounds the brain is adapted to its silence. Hence this could lead to additional difficulties to get appropriate benefits from the hearing devices.
Look out for treatment before permanent damage is done to the structures of your brain. Low-frequency hearing loss may be an indicator of underlying cardiovascular problems.
Any treatment, early or late into the process is better than none. Researchers found the brains of younger patients have the ability to strengthen different senses to compensate and adapt to a few senses what they might be missing. The latest research suggests the sooner we apply a hearing aid solution, the more efficiently our brain will use the solution.
6 – Better Overall Quality of Life for All
All the benefits of getting tested and treating hearing loss head-on are clear. There is uncertainty felt for those who are losing their hearing and a hearing aid can actually elevate your quality of life. With better hearing, it’s natural that you simply are going to have better relationships than you when you can’t understand speech. Research has proven it also results in better health. You can’t help but get a lift from hearing extra of these joyful sounds that you simply have been missing as well. Proudly owning your hearing health and doing something about it would also raise your confidence level to take on the adventures that life brings to you every single day. In different phrases, taking management of your hearing health leads to a greater overall quality of life for you and those who you care about and love.
7 – Better Office Performance
As hearing is not one thing we are able to “see”, it may be tough to determine whether or not a colleague’s hearing is impaired. This could make it tough for managers to know who to help, and when.
In meetings, presentations, networking occasions, or interviews, a hearing impairment might have an effect on an employee’s potential to do their job, if they aren’t properly supported or if the working surroundings shouldn’t be inclusive of their needs.
There may usually be an emotional response to hearing loss, which impacts the social and wellbeing of the employee. If you are unable to hear what colleagues are saying clearly, you would possibly miss out on important information needed by your role, or you would possibly miss the most recent bit of office banter, which makes you’re feeling isolated and excluded, having an unfavorable impact on morale.
A Hearing Test could help you to overcome these difficulties in your office and achieve great results.
When you consider these seven benefits of a hearing test, doesn’t it seem important enough to move it to the head of your to-do checklist? Audiologists have the education and training to determine the reason for any hearing loss and offer treatment options. They’re also there to give advice and discuss any concerns you might have about your hearing loss and its effect on your everyday routine. If it’s been years since your last hearing test, it’s in all probability time to see an audiologist.
Things are changing quickly across India. Schools are closed, IPL is postponed, going to the office is banned. Hibernating at homes is the most difficult decision for some of us suffering from Hearing Loss who are already suffering isolation. This handy survival guide is for people suffering from Hearing Loss during the COVID-19 lockdown
All of us are already feeling the anxiety and stress due to rapid change and uncertainty.
Social Isolation has already added more difficulties to the people suffering from Hearing Loss.
So how can people with hearing impairment stay safe, active and productive during these demanding times?
Here is a handy survival guide by Aanvii Hearing to cope up with Hearing Loss X COVID-19
During the lockdown, you may not have access to a hearing care professional. Hence check out these ways to take care and maintain your hearing aid to avoid traveling to the clinic. This will also help you cope with your Hearing Loss during COVID-19 Outbreak
Clean and maintain your Hearing Aid daily.
Keep the Hearing Aid away from Pets and Children.
Avoid using Hearing Aid in bathroom or kitchen or any place with lots of liquid as it can potentially damage your hearing aid.
Avoid using Hairspray or Hair Gel.
Replace your hearing aid batteries often. Remove the batteries while your Hearing Aid is not in use.
You can check this blog by Signia, for further detailed instructions on how to maintain the Hearing Aid.
Keep Your Ears Clean
Clean the ear with a damp cloth.
Use Earwax Softeners so they don’t potentially hamper the workings of a Hearing Aid.
Use Cotton Swabs to clean the outer Ear, do not insert them in your Ear Canal.
For more ideas on how to keep your ears clean check this article by Healthline.com
Learn to use your Mobile Phone with your Hearing Aid
A handy tip – if you can’t hear what anyone is saying on your mobile phone put it on a loudspeaker, you would hear it much better.
Use Online Resources if your Hearing Care Professional is not Available.
Each hearing aid companies have knowledge base setup on their website. These knowledge bases are there to help the users know their hearing aid better and how to operate them in their best capacity.