Are Your Earbuds Damaging Your Hearing?
Considering the number of people walking around with a phone connected to earbuds, it’s easy to wonder whether those small white devices, fitted so close to your eardrums, might be adding to widespread hearing issues.
Noise-induced hearing loss that results from earbuds is preventable when you use them correctly and in moderation.
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Do Earbuds Damage Hearing?
The World Health (WHO) has estimated that over 1 billion young people are risking hearing loss, mainly from listening to their music on earbuds or headphones.
And volume level and length of time listening are the 2 things that have to be balanced to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss or damage from headphones or earbuds.
Can Earbuds Lead to Ear Infections?
From the moment you put them in, those earbuds can easily introduce dirt and bacteria to your ears. This may even cause an allergic reaction, a rash, or serious infections. Earbuds increase the risk to you of ear infections. Apart from transporting dirt and bacteria into your ears, earbuds may also increase ear wax.
What hearing specialists are getting more concerned about is the overexposure to increased volume or sound through earbuds over prolonged time periods, since that’s what may reduce your ability to hear in your later years.
However, regular exposure to increased sound levels will continue to damage the tiny hair cells in the cochlea. Finally, the cochlea won’t be able to relay sound messages to your brain as it used to.
Hearing Loss Due to Loud Sounds Is Avoidable
When you listen to loud music through your earbuds or headphones, it’s one of the most significant dangers to your hearing.
Whenever you subject your ears to increased volume, the fluid in the inner ear vibrates more leading to damaging the hair cells that signal the brain.
Many people have hearing loss resulting from repeated exposure to loud noises. There have been studies in Europe that demonstrate 10% of people between 13yrs and 23yrs who listen to their devices via their headphones or earbuds while travelling on public transit have been diagnosed with permanent hearing loss.
This is a significant concern for young people who like to listen to music too loudly and too regularly. It’s almost as if everywhere you look, from the gym to public transport to the street, people are wearing headphones or earbuds.
- This loss is now becoming more of a problem for the young.
- Noise exposure is the most common cause of hearing loss.
- The ear doesn’t care why you may turn the volume up.
- The dangers of loud music isn’t a new concept.
When you use headphones or earbuds for too long, with a high volume, or too often can destroy those parts of the ear vital to healthy hearing.
Even if you just turn down the volume a little bit, it will make a big difference to your risk of hearing damage.
Young people have listened to loud music for decades, even going back to rock concerts more than 50yrs ago.
However, where the majority of people only attended loud concerts occasionally, young people are now listening to loud music almost every day.
Loss Can Be Caused by Continued Exposure to Noises
A pair of headphones combined with a good playlist may serve as an ultimate focus tool for simple pleasure.
However, it could mean that the very thing you turn to your headphones for, sound, could easily be the thing that prevents you from listening. You might also want to think about having regular hearing checks.
Particularly if you’re at risk of noise-induced hearing loss, perhaps if you’re a musician or work in noisy environments.
Why Are My Ears Hurting after Wearing Earbuds?
Ear wax build up can be increased by using earbuds. Occasionally, this will form a large plug of earwax, and your earbuds may then push the wax deeper, causing trauma and ear pain. Additionally they leave your ears open to infection, however, the main issue with earbuds is they blast loud music straight in your ear canals.
The simplest way to avoid noise-induced hearing loss is to avoid loud noise as much as you can.
Signs to be aware of include, having to turn volume levels on televisions and listening devices much higher to hear clearly.