If you look around while you are walking in a crowded street, or while you are traveling somewhere, you will see lots of people with ear headphones. While the link between headphones and our phones is a common use, people also use noise-canceling headphones to isolate themselves from the environmental sounds in noisy environments. With the advancements in technology, headphones became an essential item for all of mankind. We use them while we are exercising, traveling, or just chilling. Music with headphones is a dream come true. On that point, the safe level of headphone usage is the topic today. In this article on headphones, the biggest risks of excessive headphone usage, safe duration of time, dangerous sound levels, healthy headphone usage, and other things that may cross your mind are told clearly. Just dive into the topic and learn how to have healthy listening habits. 



What happens if you always wear headphones?

Many people experience some complications when they listen to music at maximum volume for a long time. Let’s look at these complications first. Most of the complications are caused because ear damage. The biggest risk is permanent hearing loss. This is not a common thing for sure but noise-induced hearing loss can occur at different levels. Some studies have shown that twenty-five percent of the current population experience hearing loss at different levels. This loss surely occurs with age, but some young and young adults also experience hearing loss at different levels. Some people experience a gradual hearing loss rather than a lifelong hearing loss. The more, and the louder you use your headphones, the risk increases. Dizziness can happen due to pressure increase in your ear canal. This increase can make you feel dizzy, further, it can hurt your ears. You should simply take your headphones off to stabilize the pressure. This side effect can occur with noise-isolating earbuds or noise-canceling headphones as well. As an unimaginable side effect, we can mention the damage of excessive headphones usage to the hair cells. Voices, especially loud noise, cause vibration. You can obviously feel this vibration if you ever stand near a speaker in a rock concert. Sometimes this harm to your hair cells leads to tinnitus, where you will hear the roaring and/or ringing sounds. This Vibration can also cause hair cells to lose sensitivity and bend down excessively, and this may lead to hair loss. you may feel ear pain after long-term exposure. Lastly, a known dermatologist, Debra Luftman mentions that a long time of headphone use may lead to skin infections and acne. This risk accelerates when it is hot outside, and you sweat to your headphones. The moisture in your sweat creates the optimal place for bacteria to grow. It even may lead to acne breakouts as mentioned before in Teen Vogue. 

What are the signs of hearing loss?

Hearing loss can manifest as the following signs and symptoms; Speech and other sounds can be muffed, you may feel difficulty comprehending speech in loud environments, having difficulty hearing in things you clearly heard before, feeling the need to request people to talk more clearly, loudly, and slowly, turning the volume of the technologic devices higher than you use to hear clearly, and need to concentrate in order to hear clearly. Keep in mind that these symptoms can show both permanent and transient hearing loss. If you experience hearing loss from one ear, your hearing is poorer when sound comes from one side, and all sounds appear usually softer than usual; it is difficult to determine where sound is coming from; it is difficult to ignore background noise or distinguish various sounds apart, and speech is difficult to understand. hearing in loud environments or at long distances. No matter what type of hearing loss you experience, you can use hearing devices to decrease your symptoms, and hear in a healthy way. 

How to wear your headphones healthily?

The World Health Organization recommends limiting your headphone use to one hour a day. Even in that one hour, you should not listen to anything at the maximum volume. The volume of the things you listen to should not exceed sixty percent. The loud sound increases the risk for sure. While you are listening, you should take five to ten-minute breaks from listening for healthy listening as well. By following these periods of time can easily preserve you from any damage. The way mentioned in this paragraph is also called the rule of thumb. In this rule, you will use your headphones for sixty minutes and do not exceed sixty percent of volume. Besides, scientists recommend not to listen to anything evet loud, even if you use speakers. As mentioned in In the previous paragraph, high volume causes more vibration and more pressure to your ear canal. Take care of your ear health before it is too late.

How to fight the complications?

First of all, you should follow the thumb rule as mentioned. You should use your headphones for sixty minutes a day, and the maximum volume you use should not exceed sixty percent. You should avoid loud noises. To clarify, a noise loud enough to harm your hearing would cause ear pain, and after you may have ringing in your ears or impaired hearing for a while. You should use noise-canceling headphones if you like isolating yourself from outside when you are listening to something. Increasing the volume to achieve the isolation effect would harm your hearing. Keeping your ears clean is always a good decision. The wax in your ears should be cleared regularly to avoid ear infections. Last but not least, you should go to a doctor and get a hearing test if you have any issues. If you neglect your current problem, you may have further complications in the future. Doctors may recommend medicines, some other changes before it is too late.