Dance like nobody’s watching.
Because they’re not…
They are checking their phones!
If you are one of those who take public transport for commuting to work, a common sight you would have witnessed is of people lost in their own world. Thanks to mobile phones and, most importantly, earphones, nobody actually cares to look up. (So, you don’t have to feel conscious about not wearing makeup, wink wink!). On a serious note, there is a problem.
Ever since earphones were launched, they have turned into our personal sound systems. Oblivious to the happenings around, tech-savvy people are absorbed in their favorite music/shows, or even have a telecon to kill travel time. The in-ear headphones are surely a luxury, or so I thought until I discovered the extent of damage they could do to the ears. The excessive exposure from portable stereo earphones is the leading cause of more and more people turning deaf. Of course, even our grandparents knew that noise pollution could cause hearing impairment. Then why are WE so ignorant?
If you have noticed, most mobile phones display a warning saying listening to sounds above a certain decibel level could damage your eardrum, yet most of us simply choose to ignore that and increase the volume anyway. But did you know the sound transmitted through the headphones can lead to permanent hearing loss? According to ENT specialists, any sound below 85 dB is safe. If you have your earphones on for more than six hours in a day at more than the recommended decibel level, you are most likely to lose your hearing ability. The effects of using this small gadget could be very harmful in the long run.
And mind you, hearing loss is only one of the many harmful things earphones cause. Do I have your full attention now? Let me throw some more light on the effects of using earphones over a prolonged period…
- Ear wax accumulation
For the best audio experience, most earphones come with an in-ear wired mic, which means you are directly inserting them into your ear canals, with no space for air. This means more ear wax is accumulated, which could also result in tinnitus.
- Infected ears
Did you know wearing earphones for even 60 minutes can increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times? The result? Unable to bear the bacteria influx, your ear drums will start hurting, leading to an infection or small red bumps. And if you are sharing your earphones, the consequences could be worse.
- Ears hurt
Those who have their earphones plugged into their ears all the time often experience pain in their ears. It could either be a sharp pain or a buzzing sound.
- Hearing loss
All of us love music, movies and, most importantly, talking. What if you wake up one day and realize you are not able to hear anything? Can you imagine life without sound? No, we are not talking about silent movies or watching movies with subtitles… the reality is much worse. So, wake up guys, before it’s too late. When you are using earphones, the audio directly reaches your ears. So make sure the volume is low, and do not keep the earphones on all the time.
- Numbness in the ears
Have you ever felt your ears going numb for a while only to get back to normalcy later? Well, if you are wondering why it happened, let me tell you it’s all because of your excessive use of earphones. Too much of sound in your ear all day can cause a brief numbness and eventually lead to hearing impairment.
- Damage to the brain
Although there’s no medical research to prove this claim, it has been found that people who constantly use earphones and bluetooth are more prone to problems related to the brain.
Oh, how many times have you had a close encounter with death? We have seen people so engrossed in their conversations and music that they hardly notice what’s happening around. There have been cases of people being injured or even run over by a car as they couldn’t hear the honk due to the loud sound on their earphones.
People who are constantly exposed to sound might experience a dizzy feeling even after it has been turned off. The pressure caused by the loud noise in the ear can lead to vertigo.
If you still don’t want to part with your hands-free gadget even after learning of the consequences it may lead to, here’s what you could do to minimize the damage. These tips are particularly for those working in call centers for whom the use of headphones is inevitable.
Tips To Use Earphones To Avoid Hearing Impairment
- Do not insert in-ear headphones directly into your ear canals. Never mind if it’s not fancy, make sure you use a big one, and keep it at a safe distance from your ear drum.
- Sharing your earphones even with your bestie is a big no-no.
- If you didn’t know, the rubber cover/sponge of your earphones need to be changed periodically to avoid bacteria build-up.
- Never plug in your headphones while walking or traveling. Forget endangering yourself, you could be putting the lives of others at risk too.
- Make sure you maintain a decibel level of 60 and below when you have your headphones on. If you want loud music, use your music system.
- If you have your earphones plugged in for more than an hour, take a break. Do not keep them on continuously. You could suffer permanent hearing loss.
- Using earphones while traveling is not the best of ideas as the external noise too can add up to the decibel levels, making it dangerous.
Now that you know the consequences of using earphones, it’s best to minimize their use. You don’t want to end up deaf, right? Like they say, better safe than sorry.
Do you know of any other harm that headphones could cause? Share them with us in the comments section below.