How Long Is Too Long
In addition to volume, the duration of sound exposure is an important factor that contributes to possible ear damage. Simply stated, louder sounds have potential for more damage with less exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates that employers offer hearing protection for employees with averaged exposure of 85 dB for greater than eight hours. While this sounds like a long time, headphone use at only slightly higher sound levels can cause damage in less than one hour, and it is easy to imagine listening to music with headphones for an hour or longer. Importantly, listening at a comfortable level should be safe for an unlimited amount of time, though it is essential to balance duration of use with loudness of exposure.
Can Headphones Make You Deaf
The short answer is yes and the term for that is > NIDCD, which stands for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Headphones, like all other audio devices, can technically cause permanent hearing damage and loss of hearing as a result. Over a long period, they can cause you to go deaf, but it will only happen by misusing headphones.
If you listen to headphones at safe listening volumes, then it is quite unlikely to cause any damage to your hearing. Its better to be safe now than regret the damage you will do which will affect you for the rest of your life. The Hearing Review have done the analysis that suggests that inappropriate use of sound-producing devices is growing concern for hearing loss, see the diagram below.
How Does Noise Cause Hearing Loss
The ear is made up of three parts that work together to process sounds: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Part of the inner ear, called the cochlea, contains tiny hair cells. These hair cells help send sound messages to the brain. Loud noise can damage the hair cells. When this happens, the cochlea canât relay sound messages to the brain as well.
Unlike damage to other parts of your body, inner ear damage never heals. Over time, as more and more hair cells get damaged, your hearing will get worse and worse.
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Avoiding Issues Caused By Headphone
When you follow a healthy habit of using your headphones, you don’t have to worry about any kind of damages or issues to your ears. Let’s check out the things that can help you build a healthy habit of using headphones.
- Maintain the 80/90 method while using your headphones. This method suggests you use your headphone at 85 decibels for less than 90 minutes at a time. And if you choose to increase the volume, you have to reduce the listening period as well. But try keeping it below 90 decibels at all costs.
- Try using headphones that have a noise cancellation feature. This helps you greatly in having a good listening experience without raising the volume. Most of the time, you might be raising the volume to avoid the noises around you. A noise-canceling headphone will cancel those noises automatically, so you won’t have to raise the volume at all.
- Even though earbuds or earphones may be convenient, try avoiding them. Go for headphones instead of earbuds. The reason is that, with headphones, you may have some room for air in your ears. But with earbuds or earphones, you are necessarily blocking your ear from getting any kind of air whatsoever. Also, the impact of earbuds is far greater than headphones on your ears.
- To avoid pain in your ears, try getting headphones with comfortable padding. Also, get headphones that aren’t too tight on your head or your ears. If you plan to game or study for long hours with headphones on, it’s important to consider their comfortability.
Why Is Piggybacking Double Adaptors Dangerous
Why Are Double Adaptors Dangerous? Double adaptors dont have any type of overload protection built in. That means they can easily get overloaded if you use a high power drawing appliance or have too many appliances on that outlet. This means they get hot very quickly and are a common cause of house fires.
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The Rise In Popularity Of Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds
In 2017, over 368 million headphones and headsets were sold worldwide. Back in 2016, sales of wireless Bluetooth headphones surpassed that of wired headphones for the first time in history, amounting to 54% of revenue and 17% of total headphone sales.
That was the year Apple released wireless AirPods, which have become Apples most popular accessory. AirPods are truly wireless, unlike other headphones that have a short wire connecting the earbuds.
This year, the company could sell 50 to 55 million pairs, which is estimated to double by 2021. This doesnt even take into account the number of knock-off AirPods that have hit the market. Future generations of AirPods are set to release, which could grow sales even more than estimated.
According to market researchers, Consumers are already embracing a wireless future. Many people enjoy the convenience of Bluetooth, as it is wireless and hands-free.
Yet at the same time, some consumers are cautious about these wireless headphones. Understandably so, when you consider how they operate and the EMF radiation emissions they produce. Bluetooth is a form of radio frequency radiation that works by sending data through the air over short distances.
Most wireless Bluetooth headphones are Class 2 which can emit energy up to 33 feet .
What Is Ionizing And Non
Ionizing Radiation consists of a large amount of energy it significantly affects the DNA, resulting in cancer. The Ionizing Radiation is placed in things such as X- rays, which perform some medical tests, sun rays, and nuclear explosions, but in some ways, It produces less energy. It is less likely to work in such a drastic way of dangerous Radiation. Headphones cancer warning.
RF is located at the low-energy end of the spectrum when it comes to electromagnetism. It contains intense non-ionizing Radiation, low energy able to vibrate the atoms, ionization. The lionization works while you are charging, the particles like electrons removed from the atoms.
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Why Do My Ears Hurt After Wearing Headphones For A Long Time
You may be experiencing a symptom called listener fatigue. That is where your eardrums work hard to manage the volume that flows through your ear canal. The louder the volume, the bigger the strain on your eardrums, which then causes the feeling of fatigue. The longer you wear headphones, the more your ears may hurt.
How Does Bone Conduction Technology Work
Those with hearing issues may benefit from bone conduction headphones since they dont rely solely on the eardrum.
The abridged version of bone conduction headphones is that they rest directly on the listeners cheekbones. Unlike traditional headphones and earbuds, the eardrum doesnt vibrate to pass the information along to the cochlea. Instead, the vibrations from the bone conduction bee-lines for the cochlea.
Due to the lack of eardrum involvement, this technology is good for people with hearing deficiencies, as the bone conduction vibration acts in lieu of the eardrum.
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You Skimp Out On Sleep
Kick insomnia to the curb, for the sake of your brain’s health. According to Daane, “One study showed a single 90-minute reduction in sleep decreased performance and alertness by a whopping 32%.” The long-term effects aren’t pretty either. “Another study showed that a chronic lack of sleep caused significant decreases in brain volume and memory. Curious what you can do to improve your own sleep habits? Check out our list of 25 Doctor’s Own Tips for Better Sleep.
Volume Limits Help But Kids Often Know Workarounds
If your child is really resistant, set up a time when he or she can talk to someone with damaged hearing. Maybe your son is an aspiring pop music star. His guitar teacher can explain that many musicians live with tinnitus and hyperacusis.
Set volume limits together. You want a tween or teen to be on your side. Although a parent can set a max on the volume on both Android and iPhones, a tech-savvy child can get around them and also easily find apps online that help increase the volume even further.
“Even when young, kids know how to deactivate any safe listening settings their parents might set. I sat with my kids while they set on their own device. We talked about how obviously they could switch them off and listen unsafely if they wanted to. It was another opportunity for us to talk about protecting their hearing health,” Mayes said.
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Are Headphones Safer Than Earbuds
D. Over-the-ear headphones are a much better choice than earbuds. Not only do you not have to worry about funneling sound directly into your eardrums, but most over-the-ear headphones are also, as a general rule, more comfortable to wear than earbuds. The human ear can safely listen to sounds up to 70 decibels .
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If youre looking for an affordable pair of wireless earbuds without sacrificing decent sound quality and good battery life, then the Jlab JBuds Air is the perfect pair for you. Made for workouts and other similar activities, this pair features IP55 water resistance, a Bluetooth 5.0 interface, headset controls, custom EQ3 sound and a sturdy charging case that gives you additional 10 hours of battery life on top of the earbuds’ runtime of three hours. Sound-wise, these lean on the bass-heavy side, which helps add extra detail and clarity, especially when you’re out in a noisy environment.
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You Don’t Take Sick Days
Forget saving up your sick days taking a day off from work when you are ill is the best thing you can do for your brain. When you’re under the weather, your mind and body are taxed with fighting off disease and cannot function at the same level they do normally. If you strain yourself to work while you’re sick, you won’t be able to get the job done as efficiently and can risk long-term brain damage.
Aim For Below 50% Volume
Some headphones and earbuds advertise that they limit volumebut they dont always deliver on that promise. Also, the industry standard maximum volume, 85 dBA , isnt a safe bet. That number comes from regulations to protect adults on the job, in factories or airports and the like. If you dont want your child to run the risk of hearing loss, 70 dBA would be more reasonable, a 2018 WHO report and 2019 paper argued. Thats typically about 50 percent volume on your device.
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Ear Infection Caused By Headphone
Ear Infection caused by headphones is an ear infection that can cause hearing loss. This type of infection typically arises from bacteria or fungi in the outer ear canal. It occurs when moisture accumulates in this area for an extended period due to over-ear headphones.
The problem is that earwax can combine with this moisture, and it will create an environment in which bacteria or fungi have the opportunity to thrive. This kind of infection is usually fungal rather than bacterial because their spores are more resistant to drying out.
Typically, these infections produce symptoms like itching, redness in the outer part of the ear canal, fluid coming from one or both ears, and hearing loss if left untreated for an extended period.
Psychological Effect By Headphone
Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the psychological effects that headphones can cause. The research is still ongoing, but there have been some research and findings on its impact on our brain.
One study, in particular, found that when using headphones to listen to music for an extended period, an individuals ability to distinguish between melodies was reduced by as much as 24%.
This means individuals listening via their headphones experience slower cognitive processing times, leading to less attention due to interrupted auditory perception.
Another psychological effect is that some people experience decreased verbal skills when listening through headphones as opposed to speakers because of an increased perception of self-involvement while using headphones.
The ability to process language decreases due to reduced cognitive processing times from prolonged use of headphones.
Studies show that those who typically have trouble reading may suffer more pronounced symptoms than others if they are not wearing corrective eyewear . Psychological effects can also be caused by audio distortion, therefore reducing the clarity and intelligibility of speech/music.
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There Are Certain Precautions You Can Take
Until we have that data, all we can really do is take special precautions to avoid the potential health risks.
If planning prolonged phone calls, the safest alternatives are using the speakerphone feature on your phone and wired headphones, Dr. Santosh Kesari, a neuro-oncologist and chair of the department of translational neurosciences and neurotherapeutics at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California, told Healthline.
The same goes for those who listen to music or podcasts for hours on end each day. This is especially important for children, who are still developing and therefore are more sensitive to radiation.
Children are higher risk since they have small heads and thinner skulls. So they would be expected to have higher exposure to any EMF radiation, Kesari explained.
Other general precautions include keeping your cell phone about 10 inches from your face when you can and only use your cell when the signal is strong, as poor reception emits more radiation, says Moskowitz.
It may be near impossible to completely avoid radiation these days, but we can all take a few steps to reduce the amount were exposed to on a regular basis.
How Does A Headphone Affect Your Brain
Now, the good news is that headphone doesn’t have any direct negative impact on your brain. It only affects your brain when you follow some unhealthy habits regarding headphones. These habits can lead to issues like ear infections or hearing loss.
As you can see, there is no direct damage to your brain. Your ears are pretty close to your brains. As a result, damaging your ears end up causing issues in your brain as well.
To avoid this from happening, all you have to do is avoid doing things that can impact your ears negatively, to begin with. If you can avoid any damage to your ears, you won’t have to worry about brain damage.
Let’s go through the things with headphones that can negatively impact your brain.
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Keep The Volume At A Comfortable Level
Remember, we want to make sure that we dont spend much time hearing sounds that are over 70 decibels. As we have established, hearing loss can occur after prolonged exposure to louder sounds. But do you know how loud your maxed out headphones are?
Most headphones can actually go up to 110 decibels. If youre listening to your music on your way to work, that can be an hour of that playing directly into your ears. So listen to doctors recommendations and try to keep the volume at a moderate level. Thats actually where noise-canceling headphones would come in handy since you wouldnt feel the urge to turn the volume up.
Hearing Loss/ Hearing Complications
When you use headphones or earphones, the direct audio goes into your ears. Volume exceeding 90 decibels can result in hearing complication and even hear loss. All those who wear earphones and headphones are at higher risk of hearing loss and even complications in hearing. If anyone listens at more than 100 decibels for even 15 minutes, he can face hearing loss. So if you have to use headphone or earphones, make sure to give your ears some rest and do not listen listen music in high volume at any cost.
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Are There Other Options
It might feel like every phone or music player comes packaged with a tiny pair of earbuds. After all, they’re cheap to make and easy to use.
So what can you do? Go retro with headphones. There’s a reason they’re making a comeback. Sometimes old-school is better. Most electronics stores have entire sections devoted to headphones. The best are noise-canceling headphones, which help block out other noises. That way, you don’t have to turn up the volume on your music as loud to hear it well. Noise-canceling headphones also can be good for staying focused on studying or homework, but they’re not great choices if you need to hear the world around you.
Headphones that go over your ears can also damage your hearing if you use them too long or play music too loudly. They’re just not as much of a risk as earbuds are: Having the source of the sound in your ear canal can increase a sound’s volume by 6 to 9 decibels enough to cause some serious problems.
Earbuds exist because so many of us love music. So protect your hearing so you can continue to appreciate music.
Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risk
Before you throw your AirPods in the garbage, itâs essential to consider the risks carefully. While carcinogens are undoubtedly serious, theyâre also present everywhere, from the wireless router, TV or wireless charger. Even going outside on a sunny day can have harmful results. So a bit of balance is needed.
The truth is that for most people, the benefits of wireless headphones greatly outweigh the potential risks. The risks are mostly minimal, and the benefits are great. So unless you feel you donât have much to gain from wireless headphones, itâs almost certainly worth the investment, especially as wireless replaces wired tech.
If you donât own any wireless headphones and are looking to purchase some, now is the perfect time to grab a pair of AirPods. This year, Apple offers a free pair of AirPods with the purchase of a new Mac or iPad for its back-to-school promotion. Itâs a great deal to take advantage of, especially since the iPhone 12 is likely to be the first Apple iPhone that doesnât include any headphones. Apple has just announced new features for AirPods at WWDC 2020, including automatic switching between Apple devices.
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