Earbuds have become increasingly popular in recent years, thanks to their convenience and portability, but earbuds are also harmful.
They’re small, easy to carry around, and perfect for listening to music or podcasts on the go.
However, as earbuds become more prevalent, there are growing concerns about their impact on our health.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the side effects of using earbuds regularly and explore some alternatives to consider.
How Does Earphone Usage Damage the Ears?
The eardrum and hearing bones facilitate sound transmission to the inner ear.
The vibration then passes through the fluid-filled, numerous microscopic “hairs” of the cochlea, which is where it stops.
When the vibration reaches the cochlea, it causes the fluid to vibrate, which moves the hairs If the noise is greater, the vibrations are stronger and the hairs move more.
By exposing over time to loud music, the hair cells progressively lose their sensitivity to sound vibration.
Sometimes the loud music also causes the hair cells to bend or fold over, which causes a momentary loss of hearing.
The hearing cells in the ear may become destroyed if the sound is played for an extended period of time at a high volume.
Side Effects of Headphones on the Brain
Pain in the Ears
Right now, earphones and headphones are among the technology’s greatest sins.
Many people use earphones or listen to music throughout the day, whether they are taking a call at work, walking in the morning, crossing the street, boarding a bus or metro, or enjoying coffee in a café.
Wearing headphones all the time may not disturb those around you, but you are harming yourself enough without even realizing it.
Effect on the Brain
When using earphones for a long time or when they are not properly fitted, it can cause pain that frequently extends to the inner ear as well, causing soreness around the ear.
Loud music or prolonged exposure, as was previously said, causes the hair cells to bend down excessively and severely, and depending on the severity, this might result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
How to Reduce the Risk of Damage from Earphones
Long-term ear damage from listening to loud, booming music through headphones is possible. Therefore, it is always recommended to take rests in between to give the ears a break.
Use Headphones, Not Earphones
Even though the phrases “headphones” and “earphones” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Earphones are typically tiny, in-the-ear devices made of hard plastic or silicone.
Turn the Volume Down
Decibels are a unit of measurement for sound. Even after prolonged exposure, it is doubtful that a sound that is under 60 dB will cause any hearing damage. Hearing loss, however, can occur from prolonged exposure to loud noises above 85 dB.
What’s the Right Way to Use Earbuds?
Noise-induced hearing loss brought on by earbuds is entirely avoidable if you don’t use them for too long or loudly.
The 60%/60-minute rule, which specifies that no music, video game, or movie should be played at more than 60% of its maximum loudness, is one that doctors advise following.
No more than 60 minutes should be spent using earbuds at once.
The following is another method to determine whether the volume on your headphones is appropriate: Check to see whether anyone seated nearby can hear your music.
If they can, your hearing is getting worse. So that no one else can hear it, turn down the volume.
Remember that loud music may cause you to become unaware of your surroundings.
As a result, your risk of an accident increases. For instance, your music may be so loud while you’re running along a bike path that you can’t hear a cyclist shouting, “Heads up!”
Alternatives to Earbuds
If you’re concerned about the potential risks associated with earbuds, there are several alternatives to consider.
One option is to use over-ear headphones, which sit outside of the ear canal and can help reduce the risk of hearing loss.
Another alternative is to use earbuds with built-in volume limiters, which can help prevent damage to your hearing.
Additionally, sound-canceling headphones can be a great alternative for those who are looking for a more immersive listening experience.
Overall, earbuds can be a convenient and enjoyable way to listen to music or podcasts on the go.
However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with their use, such as the risk of hearing loss and earwax build-up.
If you’re concerned about these risks, consider using over-ear headphones, earbuds with built-in volume limiters, or sound-canceling headphones.
Remember to keep the volume at a moderate level, and avoid using earbuds for long periods of time. It’s also good to give your ears a break and let them “breathe” and have some silence.