Ever since the invention of earphones and headphones, music consumption has evolved to become more portable and personalized. With these gadgets, we can listen to anything we want, whenever and wherever we want, and however loud we want.
As convenient as it may seem, headphones and earphones can lead to hearing loss if used irresponsibly because noise-induced hearing impairment is understood to be caused by a combination of sound intensity and duration of exposure.
Teenagers are especially at risk, as iPods, smartphones, and MP3 players are constantly blasting music into their ears. An estimate of 1 out of 5 teens have some kind of hearing loss, 30% higher than in the previous decades, which should be alarming to parents as it may lead to developmental problems with speech and language.
How To Detect Hearing Loss?
Hearing impairment from improper and excessive headphones and earphones use is gradual and it typically does not exhibit any major signs. Only certain medical assessments and hearing tests can accurately check for damage.
Although if the person is already experiencing tinnitus, or a sharp ringing sound that only he or she can hear, muffled or plugged hearing, difficulty in perceiving speech in noisy environments, and a preference for louder volumes, chances are he or she is already suffering from some degree of hearing loss and taking the person to a licensed physician is probably the best thing you can do.
How To Know If It Is Too Loud?
Most personal music devices can reach up to 120 decibels, a volume louder than a gunshot (100 decibels). Listening to music at that volume can result in hearing loss almost immediately.
If you cannot hear anything around you aside from the music while listening to headphones or earphones, or if the music can be heard even if it is not plugged into ears, that means that is too loud. A safe volume would be 85 decibels or lower, and doctors advise keeping the volume at around 60% at most when listening through headphones.
However, if you still want to keep the volume up, it is suggested to lessen the duration to offset the decibel level. For instance, pumping the volume to 100 decibels would already cause damage after a couple of hours of exposure and at 110 decibels, 30 minutes is usually the limit per day.
How Is Hearing Loss Treated and Prevented?
The damage to our sense of hearing is, unfortunately, irreversible and prevention is the only way we can counter it. Hearing aids and implants can help perceive sound but it is always better to hear naturally rather than depend on gadgets.
Hearing loss should not be taken lightly, as it can now affect today’s youth through irresponsible headphones and earphones use. Moderation is always key in order to prevent permanent damage to our ears.
If you feel like you are suffering from hearing loss or starting to see some signs of hearing loss, it is advised that you schedule a checkup with the hearing professionals at Beltone DFW. We proudly provide the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with hearing specialists that can help you through the testing and process of exploring your options if you are experiencing hearing loss. Give us a call today at (888) 958-8432 or schedule an appointment online to begin exploring your options.