Earbuds can damage your hearing slowly
It is a trend to wear earbuds all day long, whether it is at work, in study, or on the street walking. However, many people haven’t realized their hearing is damaged slowly. It is found that listening to music via earbuds for hours and at a high volume can lead to hearing loss even at a young age.
How is your hearing damaged?
There are some “sensors” inside your ear called hair cells. When a sound comes into your ear, the wispy bundles of stereocilia on top of the cells vibrate and send signals accordingly to your brain. However, once the hair cell bundles get damaged, they are no longer able to capture sound information.
So, which is the safe sound range?
In practice, sounds lower than 70dB is totally safe to hear, even for a long period of time. On the contrary, exposed to an environment above 85dB will lead to hearing loss. To get a clear picture of how loud your surrounding sound is, check the data below:
Normal conversation: 60dB
Maximum volume of personal listening device: 105-110dB
How to prevent yourself from hearing loss
- Avoid loud events and activities
Stay away from loud events and activities such as nightclubs, concerts, or sports events, or at least take a break every 20 minutes. After exposure to these loud events, make sure you have one day for recovering.
- The right way to listen to music
Listening to music via earbuds won’t disturb others, but it can threaten your hearing. To avoid this, you should keep the volume under 60% of the maximum volume. A sound range where you can hear the music clearly and comfortably is the best. Don’t use your earbuds for more than one hour a single time, or at least take a break for minutes from time to time.
- Use hearing protectors
If you can’t stay away from loud noise, try hearing protectors, including foam earplugs, earmuffs, or custom earplugs. They are all economical solutions that can largely reduce the sound levels.
- Get hearing tested
Pay attention to early warning signs of hearing loss, such as ringing in the ears, feeling it hard to hear in a noisy environment, or understand others though you are hearing them. Once you start to have one of these symptoms or are getting worse, go to the hospital and get your hearing tested right away.