While current evidence of substantial hearing loss caused by wearing headphones and ear-buds is inconclusive, it is still important to be aware that listening to your headphones at the highest volume may put you at risk for hearing loss. For music lovers, there is nothing more satisfying than putting on a quality pair of headphones and blasting the music in order to hear every layer perfectly.
Additionally, many people choose to listen to their music through headphones or ear-buds in order to block out the rest of the world, but no matter how satisfying this may be, it is still important to be careful. Headphones are not the only way one can put themselves at risk for tinnitus, a disorder of the ear that can be caused by a variety of environmental factors, including listening to music at higher than normal levels, especially when using ear-buds, a form of headphones that are inserted directly into the ear canal. By taking a few preventative measures, you can avoid potential hearing loss and still enjoy the music you love so much.
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When wearing headphones or ear-buds, a good rule of thumb to go by is that if the people around you can hear what you are listening to, it is simply too loud. Not only is it possible that the excessive noise may be disturbing those in close proximity, it is also a clear signal that you could be potentially damaging your eardrums.
If you are truly hooked on the loudness of your music, a good way to get used to a quieter level is by lowering the volume half a notch or so each time you listen. Eventually, the extremely loud music you are used to will start to sound too loud, and your hearing will adapt to the lower levels.
External noise can be quite dangerous as well, especially in certain work environments. If you work in a factory or an industrial park where the machines are constantly running, it is very important that you wear protective earphones to drown out the hazardous noise. While most companies require these noise-blocking headphones for all of their employees, there is still the possibility that your particular company does not. If this is the case, you can purchase your own noise-blocking headphones, as well as speak with your immediate supervisor regarding the noise. Rock concerts and dance clubs can also be hazardous to your hearing. While the initial idea of heading out to a concert or a club is to rock out and dance, too much of a good thing can leave your ears buzzing. Foam earplugs are your best bet when heading out to a noisy venue, as you will still be able to hear the loud music at a safe level.
Ear-Buds – Be Careful!
If you are someone that wears ear-buds to listen to your MP3 player or when sitting at your computer, it is very important that you clean them with alcohol after each use. Ear-buds are directly inserted into the ear canal, and they can easily pick up bacteria. What eventually may occur is what is known as “swimmer’s ear,” a bacterial infection of the outer ear. Swimmer’s ear can be extremely painful and if not treated immediately, a variety of complications can occur, including temporary hearing loss.
Prevent Hearing Loss
Music can be just as enjoyable at a moderate volume, and you lower the risk of damage and hearing loss substantially. By taking a few preventative measures like lowering the volume and wearing earplugs when the noise is simply too loud, you can still enjoy your music while saving your ears at the same time.