how to prevent hearing loss from headphones? Hearing loss among young people is a serious problem in US. One in five young people suffers from some form of hearing loss, a 30% increase over the 1990s. It is a growing epidemic caused by the increasing use of headphones and listening to loud music.
Also due to noise pollution in cities. As professionals in the world of sound, we at Culture Sonora are very much aware of the health of hearing.
In this article, we offer some simple tips to protect your ears.
The interruption of smartphones in our lives allows us to listen to our favorite music whenever we feel like it.
However, many of these devices come in poor quality with in-ear headphones. Did you know that according to statistics, they are the worst at caring for our ears?
Therefore, it is important that if you use this type of headphones, they should be of good quality, as we have selected these compared to the Air Music headphones so that they can minimize the damage to your ears. Deliver
If we add dangerous amounts of poor quality and prolonged use, then we have a terrible audible cocktail.
The World Health Organization recently announced that more than 1 billion young people between the ages of 12 and 35 are at risk of deafness from listening to loud music for a long time.
Worst of all, most deaf people do not get treatment on time. Fortunately, with a little awareness, up to 60% of cases in adolescents can be prevented.
What is hearing loss? how to prevent hearing loss
It’s basically hearing less than usual. Hearing loss can affect one or both ears and can be classified as mild, moderate, severe, or deep.
Hearing loss can be caused by a number of reasons: diseases, ear infections, ear canal complications or working in a noisy environment.
However, due to the bad habit of using headphones, more and more young people are coming to the office with early deafness.
In Spain, 15% of young people over the age of 18 suffer from some form of hearing loss. And worst of all, since deafness is a gradual process, most of us are unaware that we are losing our hearing and we let it go until the problem gets worse.
Tips on how to prevent hearing loss from headphones:
Be careful when choosing headphones.
The use of headphones has increased dramatically in recent years.
They are very versatile and we can connect them to any device: smartphones, computers, tablets, TVs, iPods, MP3 players … they are found everywhere and used by people of all ages.
These in-ear headphones are the most popular. They can be compact, lightweight and very cheap.
The problem is that the earbuds that come with most mobile devices are of terrible quality and are not designed to fit your ear properly, which means that they can emit sound and Because of this people use dangerous volumes to compensate.
In the case of headphones, the famous saying that one size fits all (one size fits all) is a big lie.
The best way to protect your ears is to find a pair of headphones that are comfortable for you and that fit snugly in your ears.
You can choose several helmet tests at specialty stores to find out which models might be right for you.
The best in-ear headphones to fit your ears can come with different sizes of AirPods, while the more earbuds are more comfortable, provide better sound, and are more secure.
Limit exposure time and volume.
The World Health Organization recommends not listening to music for more than an hour a day through our headphones.
Although 85 dB is considered a safe volume level, after several hours of daily use, we can damage our ears.
It is better to follow the WHO recommendation to give our ears a little rest.
Many experts recommend following the principle known as 60:60: Using 60% of the capacity of your music player, limit the volume through headphones to 60 minutes daily.
Using headphones with good sound cancellation helps you to be able to listen to music at a very low level. It is also an element that can help users who want to listen to music for a long time.
Volume and exposure can cause hearing loss.
Hearing loss due to noise pollution depends on the volume (measured in dB) and the duration for which we are exposed to sound. A volume equal to or less than 85 dB is safe, but any higher volume can cause permanent hearing loss depending on the duration of the sound exposure:
- At 95 dB we may suffer losses after exposure for four hours a day.
- At 100 dB, the loss occurs after two hours of daily exposure.
- At 105 dB, one hour after daily exposure.
- At 110 dB we can lose 30 minutes of daily exposure.
- Loss at 115 dB can occur after 15 minutes of exposure.
- Loss at 120 dB can be immediate.
Noise pollution is everywhere. Traffic noise is heard at approximately 75 dB, subway trains at 90 dB, shots at 100 dB, and aircraft at 140 dB.
Mobile devices, such as MP3 players or DAPs, can produce more than 115 dB of sound, as we can hear at a King Crimson or Radio Head concert.
What are the best and worst headphones for hearing loss?
Excessive volume and prolonged listening to music can cause hearing loss, and can easily be caused by misuse of headphones.
Headphones give our ears very strong and focused sound waves, so if we exceed 85 dB, the maximum safe volume point, they can cause irreversible damage immediately.
We are not saying to avoid using headphones at all. Headphones are great for immersing yourself in the world of music.
They allow us to enjoy and enjoy our favorite music anywhere and anytime without disturbing anyone. We just have to use them with caution.
In addition, there are headphones that are more secure than others and we can follow some tips to avoid problems.
Over-the-air headphones sit on the head and comfortable, pad cups that cover the entire ear.
There are two types: closed and open.
The best open source over-the-air headphones produce high quality sound and you can recognize them because they have a kind of grid that allows you to see the drivers that produce the sound. Cups are usually removable and do not trap sound in the space between the driver and the ear.
This means that the sound can leak out, which helps keep the music from getting too loud to damage your hearing.
However, they are also poor at isolating external noise, which many users compensate for by increasing the volume too much, thus increasing the chances of hearing loss.
Closed-type over-the-air headphones, as the name implies, have solid surfaces without the girls. These types of helmets offer the best noise cancellation in the market.
They form a seal that traps sound between the ear and the cup and prevents outside noise from entering.
These are great for preventing hearing loss because the user has complete control over the sounds that reach their ears.
Off-the-air headphones allow us to listen to our music in a safe volume, because we don’t need to isolate ambient noise and increase the volume.
In-ear headphones, also called in-ear headphones, are the most popular music headphones because they deliver powerful sound and are very portable.
These ear headphones have drivers that are adjusted in the ear canal. This is dangerous because it keeps drivers close to the eardrums.
If we use them above 85 dB, they can easily damage the ears.
The good news is that they isolate external noise fairly well, which means they can be used in safe volumes, but more in-ear headphones are safer to avoid hearing loss.
Types of hearing problems related to headphones and exposure to music or very loud sounds.
The type of hearing loss found in the use of headphones and loud display, such as discos, concerts, etc., is called hearing loss or partial deafness.
It affects the ear to varying degrees:
- Lack of light hearing leads to a decrease of 20 to 40 dB and it becomes difficult to hear distant sounds.
- Reduces average normal capacity by 40 to 70 dB, making conversation difficult to hear.
- Intense one produces losses of 70-90 dB and only allows you to hear very loud sounds and short distances.
- Severe hearing loss causes 90 dB of hearing loss. Only very loud ambient sounds and noises can be heard in this grade.
Hearing loss can be transmitted, sensory or mixed.
The term conductive hearing loss is used for hearing loss in the middle and outer ear, which limits the sound waves reaching the inner ear.
It affects all frequencies equally and can be treated with special hearing aids or medical treatment.
Sensorineural refers to sensory damage to the inner ear and damage to the auditory nerve. It is irreversible and affects some frequencies more than others.
It can be treated with cochlear implants or hearing aids, depending on the level of damage. Mixed is a combination of both.
How to diagnose hearing loss?
Hearing loss due to misuse of headphones and noise pollution is gradual and cumulative, making it difficult to detect in time.
The easiest way to find out if you have a hearing loss is to take an online test, such as a test offered by Amplifon and Audiophone, or tunnel audiometry.
Audiometry is a clinical test that can detect if you have any type of hearing loss. If you or a young relative experience any of the following symptoms, we recommend that you see an ear specialist (otolaryngologist) immediately:
- If you feel the bell ringing in your ears, laugh or ring.
- Difficulty understanding conversations in noisy places.
- If you hear muffled or muffled sounds.
- If you need to listen to the radio or TV too loud.
Treatment of hearing loss
Unfortunately, hearing loss due to loud noises is irreversible.
If we already have severe or deep hearing loss, we may use cochlear implants or special hearing aids for deafness.
They amplify sounds and help us hear better, but we can’t undo the damage done to our ears. That is why prevention is so important.
How can we prevent hearing loss from noise pollution?
In most cases, hearing loss due to noise pollution can be prevented. Here are some tips to help you avoid hearing loss.
We already have some names for you, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat them:
Earplugs and ear protectors
If you work in a noisy environment and want to constantly expose yourself to dangerous noise levels, we recommend that you wear air plugs or ear protectors.
There are many comfortable and affordable models on the market, from safety headphones to those who try to make noise at work and air plugs for concert and any worker, concerts, festivals, noisy drinks, etc. Can protect your ears in such an environment. .
Get the right headset.
Over-the-ear headphones provide the most protection for the ears, as they are placed farther away from the ear canal. Also, they are more comfortable.
If you live in an often noisy environment and can’t hear your music, don’t increase the volume. A pair of noise-canceling headphones are a great choice to protect your ears and isolate yourself from outside noise.
There are many great models in the market, such as Bose 700 or Sony WH-1000XM4.
Control volume and exposure.
Most MP3 players and smartphones emit very loud sounds, and as we already know, hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to dangerous volumes is irreversible.
To avoid this we can follow the 60/60 principle. These numbers indicate that we should limit our devices to 60% of the volume for 60 minutes daily.
Remember to relax your ears and maintain a safe volume. If you use your players at 80 dB, try not to exceed 40 hours a week.
If you use them at 89 dB, go no more than 5 hours a week. Plays at 95 dB should be limited to 15 minutes per day.
Annual Hearing Examinations
If you notice any of the symptoms described in this article, try to go to a special center as soon as possible.
As we have said, hearing loss or partial deafness due to noise pollution is irreversible, so timely assessment can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
You can take a free online hearing test to make sure your ears are working properly, but only if you have a family history of deafness, or if you live in a very noisy environment. If you work, it is advisable to have your hearing checked at any time. The medical center once a year.
It is also important that you attend at least once a year if you are over 50 years old.
We leave you with a video that provides some more information about hearing loss. If you are looking for information on headphones, speakers or any other sound equipment, you can visit our Sound Culture page.
There we write in-depth reviews of the best models on the market.