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Are Headphones and Earbuds Bad For Your Health?

husband and wife listening to music on the couch

Many people believe that earbuds and headphones are bad for hearing. They can be, but it depends on how one uses them. For example, earbuds have been found to cause hearing loss when the volume level is too high or if someone listens to music at a high volume for long periods without giving their ears a break. On the other hand, hearing instrument specialists say there are ways to use earbuds safely, which will not lead to hearing loss. For example, a hearing instrument specialist says you should never put your phone next to your head while listening to music because doing this could strain your eardrums and damage hearing.

There is a lot of debate about whether headphones and earbuds are bad for your health. On the one hand, many people believe that using these devices for prolonged periods can lead to hearing loss. But, on the other hand, some experts say that there is no objective evidence to support this claim. So, which is it? 

Minimize the Risk of Hearing Damage

The truth is that there is no definitive answer to this question. Different people will react differently to headphones and earbuds, and some may be more at risk of hearing loss than others. That said, you can do a few things to minimize the risk of hearing damage when using these devices.

Turn Down the Volume

For example, if you’re going to be using these hearing aids for an extended period, we recommend that you turn the volume down on your device and take a break every 30 minutes. You can also put one earbud in a while, leaving the other out when listening to music just in case there is an emergency, and you need to be aware of your surroundings.

Different Decibel Levels

It’s also important to note that not all headphones and earbuds are created equal. Some devices have a higher decibel level than others, which can potentially cause more damage to your hearing. If you’re unsure about the decibel level of a particular device, be sure to ask a hearing instrument specialist.

Even if you’re using headphones or earbuds with a lower decibel level, it’s essential to take breaks from listening to them. Your hearing instrument specialist will recommend a safe listening duration for your device.

Hearing Protection

It’s important to know that hearing loss can occur with any noise exposure, including loud music while wearing headphones or earbuds for long periods. However, hearing protection is a must when using headphones or earbuds if you have already been diagnosed with hearing loss due to noise exposure from gunfire or other loud things like construction work.

Regardless of your occupation, if you’re frequently around loud noises, it’s important to wear hearing protection or whenever you use headphones or earbuds. Even if the device has a low decibel level, over time, it can still cause damage to your hearing.

What to Do if You Develop Hearing Loss

After being diagnosed with hearing loss, it is essential to work with hearing instrument specialists. Hearing instruments can help boost hearing via different components like microphones or speakers in the ear.

Hearing aids amplify sound, which increases the risk of trauma or damage in both ears. With all the new technology available today, there are so many hearing aid styles to choose from, including behind the ear (BTE), in the canal (ITC) and in the ear (ITE). Be sure to visit your hearing instrument specialist for more help with hearing aid styles and what would suit your needs best.

How to Identify Hearing Loss

Most people don’t think about their hearing until they start having trouble hearing. Unfortunately, the damage has been done by then, and it can be more challenging to treat. The best way to protect your hearing is to identify any potential problems as early as possible.

There are a few common signs that you may be experiencing hearing loss:

  • You have difficulty hearing people when they’re murmuring or when they’re far away
  • You can’t hear the TV or radio at normal volume levels
  • You frequently ask others to repeat themselves
  • Background noise bothers you more than it used to
  • You can’t hear the doorbell or telephone ringing.

In conclusion, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s essential to get your hearing checked by a hearing instrument specialist. In addition, many cases of hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids, which can help improve your quality of life. To learn more about Sound Choice Hearing, please contact 505-341-1300.