There are a several things you should know about earbud headphones. If you listen to music regularly from your phone or mp3 player, I'm pretty sure you own at least one pair of earbuds. If you are like me, you have several pairs floating around your house, never to be found when you need them most. But did you know that earbud headphones can be harmful. Here a few things you should know to keep your ears and hearing safe.
1. Hearing DAMAGE
You are more at risk for hearing loss if you use earbud headphones instead of over-the-ear type. You see, sound increases inside your ear canal when using earbuds and can be dangerous to your eardrums. Having the volume at 70% is equal to 85 decibels. Sounds at that level cause damage after a short period of time.
2. Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Earbuds are a leading cause of hearing loss in children and teens. The tiny hairs in your ears called cochlea help sound travel to the brain. Loud noises damages those hairs causing the brain to not receive the sound messages. Wouldn't be awful to lose your hearing because of your love of music and never be able to hear music again?
3. Sounds of Hearing Loss
If you experience ringing or buzzing in your ear or hear muffled and distorted sounds you might already have hearing loss. It would be a good idea to see a doctor and find out what can be done to prevent further loss and how to correct the damages that has already been caused.
4. Listen Safely
If you are going to use earbuds, use them wisely. Try to keep the volume below 60% of the max volume and take a listening break each hour. You should not keep earbuds in for more than 60 minutes. Also, if those around you can hear your music through your earbuds, that is a good indicator that your music is way too loud. Turn it down!
5. Other Dangers
Using earbuds not only puts your hearing at risk but it makes you less aware of what is going on around you. Some of you are thinking, “yeah, that’s the point.” I totally get it. I also like to put on headphones and drown out the world. However, this isn’t the best idea if you are running, walking, or biking along a public road. You need to be able to hear traffic and what’s going on around you.
6. Don’t Share
While you may not think about germs and getting sick when it comes to your ears, it is still a possibility. Don’t share your earbuds. It is an easy way to pass on bacteria and infection from one person to another.
Also remember to clean your earbuds regularly to further cut down on the spread of germs. Simply wiping them down with an alcohol swab or even hand sanitizer should do the trick. Don't forget to make sure your hands are clean when putting in and taking out your earbud headphones.
If used properly, earbuds are safe. Of course there are always other options. Many people like over-the-ear headphones for better sound quality and noise cancelling technology. Either way you need to listen at a reasonable volume to avoid damages. What types of headphones do you prefer?