Imagine a world where you don’t have the leisure to disconnect from everyone around and enjoy hearing your favourite music. And how about not having the comfort of using headphones while attending your work calls? Picture yourself going for a run without being tuned into some banging music. To me, this sounds like a dull and dangerous world. How about you? And that’s why I am here to tell you how to use earphones without damaging your ears.
As per World Health Organization (WHO) research, over one billion millennials are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to unsafe sound experiences. Also, WHO has estimated around 2.5 million people to encounter partial hearing loss by 2050. 50% of these cases will be due to not using earphones the right way.
So, why not take that extra effort and lower the numbers as much as possible. I am here to speak about how to use headphones with utmost safety. Well, I would appreciate your time. Because that can you benefit you in ways, you never imagined.
The Importance of Ear Care
Before I begin telling you how to use earphones without damaging your ears, I would like you to know why it is so so crucial to do so.
- Exposure to loud decibels for a long period can damage the inner ear.
- Loud music can cause a build-up of ear wax.
- Prolonged headphone use can cause hearing impairment.
- High volume can dampen hearing nerves.
You certainly don’t want to be a victim of any of these unpleasant circumstances. I see people given enough importance to their eyes and take all the necessary precautionary measures. So, why not show some empathy towards your ears and do everything you can to minimize the risk of hearing loss?
Music is divine, and so I totally support the idea of using headphones or earbuds to enjoy some soothing music. Also, it gives a great level of comfort for virtual meetings. In case you are looking for some options, our blog on the 11 Best Bluetooth Earphones in India 2023 has plenty of them. I am only demanding that one step ahead.
Side effects of using earphones
The side effects of using earphones for long hours can be dangerous beyond your imagination.
- The obvious one is that it may lead to hearing loss.
- Prolonged hours have a high tendency of causing an ear infection.
- It can lead to soreness in the inner ear.
- There are chances of you feeling dizzy.
- It will result in the build-up of ear wax.
- In the long run, it will disrupt your nervous system and cause a lack of focus.
- Loud music for extended hours can cause vertigo.
How to use earphones without damaging your ears?
So, here are expert recommendations about headphone safety tips to prevent hearing loss.
1. Keep your ears completely dry
This one’s basic yet crucial. Wet ears lead to excess moisture and can cause the growth of bacteria in the ear canal. The consequences of it can be extremely dangerous. There are high chances of you being a victim of ear infections and, in turn, leading to hearing loss. Well, you may or may not go through this if your ears are mildly wet. However, why take a chance?
2. Keep the volume balanced
Yes, I know, it’s very tempting to blast the music in full volume. However, our experts suggest keeping the volume decently loud. You have the flexibility to enjoy volume control from your smartphone and headphones.
Loud music can be so addicting you may not even realize how it will be responsible for hurting your ear. Sound levels are measured in decibels. Noise level upto 80 decibels is considered to be safe. In the year 2017, a study was conducted by the Noise and Health department. They clearly indicated that a sound level above 90 dB, for a long time, can be so dangerous to the human ear. They also mentioned that a normal conversation sound level is around 60 dB.
Now, how do you figure that you have crossed the borderline of the normal sound level? If you find yourself raising your voice while talking to someone or can’t hear what they are saying, it’s a sign that the sound level has exceeded the limit. Also, two dangerous signs are that once you remove your headphones, your ears hurt, or you have a ringing in your ears. Do not take this lightly, please.
3. Keep the earphones clean
No matter which type of headphone you are using – in-ear, over the ear, on-ear or any other, it is imperative you keep them clean. I would recommend you wipe it with clean tissue before every use. Ear wax build-up can attract the growth of bacteria and other microbes. Bacteria growth can produce harmful discharge and increase the risk of external ear canal inflammation. To eliminate that factor completely, you should clean your headphones before and after every use.
To maintain utmost hygiene, make sure you don’t share your headphones with anyone. While most of you are already at it, it is a big NO. Headphone sharing can give birth to negative pathogens. Sharing is caring, but certainly not in this case.
4. Limit the duration as much as possible
Yes, leisure is important, but so is taking care of our health. In addition to considering the music volume, you must factor in the duration as well. If you are in the habit of prolonged listening to music, you are in for some danger, regardless of the volume. Limit the time duration, do not get so dependent on your headphones. Keep your priorities straight. As per the Oregon Health and Science University, listening to music even for twenty minutes at a considerably high volume can be dangerous. Therefore, both aspects need to be factored in equally. The more you limit the duration and volume, the safer your ears are.
If you are using headphones for any long travel journey, take a break. Have you heard of the 60/60 rule? Tune on to your favourite music at 60% volume and disconnect right after 60 minutes. Trust me; this will work so well for you.
5. Noise-cancelling headphones are a must
The human tendency is to spike up the headphone volume when too much noise is in the background. Here’s when the noise-cancelling feature comes into utilization. The noise-cancelling headphones are equipped with a technology called passive noise reduction. This mechanism encounters the external sound and limits it with the help of its high-density foam. So, you don’t have to increase the earphone volume to block the background noise unnecessarily.
The best earbuds surely have this feature. They constantly monitor all the external noise and generate sound waves to cancel them. This feature will help you not pay attention to the outside world.
6. Don’t compromise on the quality
When you look for ways to use headphones safely, you must know how important this one is. Choosing the right earphone is so important. Paying detailed attention to the features is imperative. While I have already discussed how the noise cancellation feature is a must, you must be aware of the other important ones. It would help if you also considered the sound sensitivity, size fitting and several other factors. Choosing low-quality headphones can certainly give growth to hearing loss. Therefore, do not compromise on quality. If you are looking for some options, browse through our blog on Top 9 Best Bluetooth Earphones Under 2000 in India: 2023 Trending.
The best headphones always have soft earbuds. And this lowers the risk of ear infections tremendously.
7. Use the right for the appropriate activity
When you are ready to consider every factor, why ignore this one? Yes, certainly every headphone and earbuds function similarly. You can enjoy listening to each headphone type equally. However, you must know what exactly are you investing in earphones for. Are you using them for your workout? Do you need it to go for jogging/running? Are you going to use it for any gaming purpose? Choosing the right headphone for the right activity is important. To know more about that, check my blog – Headphone Buying Guide- How to Find the Perfect Headphones?
8. Do not shove in your earbuds/headphones
Earbuds and headphones are designed in such a way that they are at a safe distance from the ear canal. Sometimes, I have noticed people shoving in their earbuds more than required. If your earbuds are not fitting perfectly in the ear, then you must change the device. Pushing in will not solve the problem. Shoving it more than the required distance will definitely damage the skin of your ear or even rapture the eardrum, for that matter. Therefore, take no chances with this one. It could have dangerous results.
9. Give importance to hearing checkups
Is there anyone here who gets their regular hearing checkup done? Well, most people are negligent about this, but it is important to get the hearing checked once in a while. I would strongly recommend it to people who use earphones as a part of their daily routine. If you sense any discomfort, even if it’s minor, please do not overlook it. Ear screening will certainly help you identify hearing loss at an early stage.
Common Headphone Mistakes
You are now well acquainted with how to use earphones without damaging your ears. What you also need to know is the common headphone mistakes. Hey, you may be committing these mistakes unintentionally, but it’s best to put an end to them right away.
How to use Headphones/Earphones the right way?
- Earphones are not pet-friendly. Keep them away.
- Noise-cancelling headphones are the safest. Make sure you use only them.
- Place the earphones/headphones in the respective case. Do not shove it in your pocket or bag.
- Do not let the headphones cord dangle.
- Make sure to put clean headphones in your ears.
- Blasting the volume is a big NO.
- Avoid exposure to moisture.
- Do not sleep with your headphones on.
- Clean them regularly.
- Do not share earbuds with buddies.
- If you sense any discomfort in your ear, do not use headphones. It will only get aggravated.
- Limit the utilization as much as possible.
- Avoid having any ear wear on.
- Ensure your headphones have a foam cover.
- Seat them properly in your ears.
- Check the ‘L’ and ‘R’ labels and place them accordingly.
These may sound like the obvious, but how many of the above mentioned are you already following? These easy hacks can make a huge difference. I would rather put it up as not following these simple headphone rules can have unpleasant results.
One Last Thought
We use headphones and earbuds purely for relaxation. Music is soothing. It helps us in cutting off from the world completely. It will help in calming you. It helps in improving focus and concentration. It will help in energizing you during a workout. It will elevate your mood. It will help relieve stress. It will reduce the feeling of fatigue. Music also aids in pacing you during a run. So, many gratifying benefits. Then why not go one step ahead and follow all the headphone safety tips to prevent hearing loss?
Our expert recommendations are unambiguous and accessible. None of the above is far-fetched and gruelling. So, I wouldn’t tell you to follow as many headphone rules as you can. It’s a straightforward follow them all.
PS: How to use headphones with utmost safety? You are the master at it now!
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