Headphones can be convenient, there is no question in it. They’re great for working out, relaxing – or signaling to that annoying co-worker that you’re unavailable. But headphones can also be unhealthy, even dangerous. Cosmetically, if you wear headphones too often, it can cause skin conditions such as acne. More serious is the possibly damaging effect that headphones have on hearing. Studies show that listening to headphones too often at loud volumes can lead to a permanent hearing loss.
Here we’re going to discuss some of the adverse effects of using headphones for too long and in some ways how can we prevent them.
FIVE POTENTIAL PROBLEMS IF YOU WEAR HEADPHONES TOO LONG
- YOUR HEARING ABILITY MAY SUFFER
You will damage your hearing if you wear headphones or earbuds for a long time to listen to music too loudly. Consider that fully-throttled motorcycles and chainsaws generate approximately 100 decibels (decibels are units that measure the intensity of a sound), which can damage hearing in as little as 30 minutes. Someone listening to music, with earbuds, at just 70% of the maximum volume is getting about 85 decibels. NIHL which is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. This is a hearing loss from headphones and earbuds is indeed a common thing. This can be completely preventable if people are willing to take preventative measures. The best rule to follow is the 60/60 rule which is to listen the headphones at no more than 60% of the max volume and not longer than 60 minutes at any one time.
- YOU MAY GET AN EAR INFECTION
This is a very important rule, Numero Uno: never share headphones-ever. Sharing headphones can transfer infections through bacteria. Not only that it is the way to get infections, but it is the easiest way for the infections to transfer. Due to high usage of headphones and earplugs can increase the temperature of the ear canal, which may induce skin abrasion and introduce harmful bacteria.
If you’re buying a pair of headphones from someone, make sure that you disinfect them before wearing. It is also a good idea to regularly clean your headphones, even if they’ve never even used by anyone else. This will keep the headphones and – most importantly – your ears, clean.
- Your Inattention May Be Dangerous
Okay, so this writer loves popping in headphones during work as much as the next person! The downside to doing this on the regular is that you may pay less attention to your external environment – a good thing when you’re at the computer, a bad thing when someone is blaring their horn in a desperate attempt to get you to move! To be safe and courteous, if you wear headphones when you’re out on a bike ride or walk, remember to pause the music or turn it down.
- YOU COULD DEVELOP VERTIGO
Vertigo is “a sensation of feeling off balance,” and is often accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Described as “… an illusion of movement that is not there,” Vertigo is a condition of the inner ear, which may surface from infections or diseases of the ear. As excessive headphone usage is tied to vertigo-causing conditions, misuse of headphones may indeed cause vertigo.
- YOU’RE EXPOSED TO RADIATION
If you’re using a Bluetooth headset, you are exposing your body to radiation. While research is inconclusive regarding these low-frequency radiations on bodily health, the idea that we’re possibly subjecting our body to harmful radiation is troubling. In a 2018 study, the World Health Organization found that radiofrequency radiation produces biological effects that show carcinogens in male rats. These findings have led to subsequent studies on what effects if any, RF radiation has on humans.