Protective Headphone Use
It may surprise you to know that out of every 5 teenagers in the United States, 1 of them has some amount of hearing loss. Furthermore, there has been a 30% increase in hearing loss rates since the 1980s as well as the 1990s. The World Health Organization reports that worldwide, 1.1 billion teens as well as young adults are prone to developing hearing loss due to detrimental habits in listening. These detrimental habits involve unprotected exposure to loud musical and sporting events and unsafe headphone usage.
Headphone use is a major cause for concern and a leading factor in the development of hearing loss. Most adolescents and young adults are rarely seen without their headphones on and use their headphones at home, in the car, at gyms, and even while walking on the road. This prolonged exposure to loud music can lead to hearing loss later in their lifetime. Luckily, there are steps that you can encourage your young loved ones to take to help protect their hearing and prevent hearing loss without needing to eliminate headphone use altogether.
Encourage your teenager or young adult to listen to their headphones at an acceptable volume. Research shows that sounds above 85 decibels (dB) can lead to permanent hearing impairment, thus engage in a rule of allowing your children to listen to music at volumes that do not exceed 60% of the device’s maximum volume, and limit their headphone usage time to 60 minutes per day.
A good way to check whether your child is listening to music at an acceptable level is to see whether you need to raise your voice to talk to them while they are listening to music. Normal conversations take place at approximately 60dB thus if you need to raise your voice to be heard, the music is too loud and needs to be turned down.
Any music heard below the 85dB mark can be heard for longer periods of time. However, it is important to take listening breaks to enable your ears to revive themselves after having spent extended amounts of time listening to music. This can help prevent listening exhaustion and keep your ears functioning well.
You can boost a headphone’s protective capacities by selecting noise-cancellation headphones that help eliminate background noise. This way there would be no need to turn up the volume to try and listen to music, which would be a blessing for the ears.
Always try to use over-the-head headphones as opposed to earbuds when listening to music, since earbuds are placed directly into your ear thereby run the risk of causing more damage to your hearing due to their close proximity to your eardrum.
Prevention is always better than the cure as they say, thus protect your hearing using the methods listed above to help prevent the need to use hearing aids later in life. Using simple, preventative measures we can all enjoy our music and maintain our hearing to the best of our ability for as long as possible.