If you listed the benefits of earphones, you could probably go on and on. You can use them to listen to music while working out, doing chores or even while waiting for an impossibly long bus ride to be over. You can also use them to hear what’s going on if your television or computer’s speakers are busted. However, no matter how awesome or beneficial earphones may seem, they still have their downside.
One of the main side effects of listening to loud music is hearing loss. According to Dr. Brian Fligor, the director of Diagnostic Audiology at Boston Children’s Hospital, people who listen to music at volumes exceeding 90 decibels, can suffer temporary loss of hearing. Sounds in this range can eventually cause permanent hearing loss, especially to teenagers who wear their earphones for long periods of time.
Decibels are the measurement of loudness. If you listen to music at a restrained volume, then you don’t have to worry. However, if you listen to music at the highest volume possible might want to consider the following warnings. If you listen to your music using earphones at 85 decibels, you can get permanent hearing loss if you listen up to eight hours a day. At 88 decibels, you can get the same result at just four hours of listening time. Now for the painful truth, you can lose your hearing in just 15 minutes if you listen at 100-105 decibels.
Since earphones are made for two ears, it is quite inevitable that people share them. According to the Manchester Evening News, regular use of earphones can enhance the growth of harmful bacteria, and sharing or borrowing earphones may just cause the transfer someone else’s bacteria to your ears. Research leader, Dr. Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay, advises everyone to avoid sharing earphones. If it cannot be helped, sanitize them before using.
Tips and Warnings
Do not use earphones that are inserted directly into your ear canals because, even though they can make the music sound better, they enhance the chances of hearing loss will also increase. You should also try taking 5-minute breaks every hour. This will help your ears recover from being bombarded by concentrated sound waves. Last but not least, if you can use speakers at a moderate level instead, then do so because they will disperse the sound waves and not cause as much direct damage to your ear drums.