Research

Frequent use of headphones linked with damage to ears, study finds

We live in a world of the technological era. It is hard to not to keep ourselves away from different modern devices we have available. Headphones are among the thousands of other examples of these “modern devices.”

Chances are that while you read this article, you have headphones plugged in. For sure, no denying the fact that they have made our lives and for those around us easier. Supporters of technology would say that it helps in reducing noise pollution in our environment. Yet, what is often missed in this discussion are the harmful effects of headphones that the user is constantly subjecting themselves to.

Headphones Damage the Ears

If you have been told to unplug your headphones because they are damaging your ears, then you should have gone forward to do that!

According to a study documented in the Journal of American Medical Association, the earphones have become one major contributor towards hearing the loss in people. The rate of infliction has seen a sharp rise over the years. On a more unfortunate side, the prevalent rate happens to be higher in the youth population than any other age group. Which makes all the more sense since young are more up to date with technological advancements.

The research study attributed the problem to the high volume of the sound being listened on the headphones. To understand how that damages the ears, we need to focus on the science behind the hearing process.

Any sound that is produced causes our eardrums to vibrate. The subsequent vibration travels through small bones ultimately reaching the Cochlea. The cochlea is essentially a chamber filled with fluid containing thousands of tiny brands of hair. Stronger vibrations caused by loud music lead to excessive movement of this hair.

Now, this is a problem since excessive movement may lead to the hair to become insensitive to vibration. If the person continues listening to loud music on headphones, the eventual result is the hair in the cochlea becoming insensitive. Which in turn will cause disruption in the hearing process.

There is both a piece of good and bad news to the entire situation. The good news is that the hair can recover their sensitivity to vibration over time. Provided there is little exposure to loud music. If that does not happen to be the case the hair cell may in fact never recover leading to permanent damage to the ears.

How to prevent damage to the ears?

The obvious answer is to avoid the usage of headphones altogether. But it is understandable for all the many reasons that this approach may not seem to work. They are used almost in all parts of life for video conferencing, meetings etc.

Yet there are some ways you can adapt to prevent excessive damage to the ears.

  • The easiest way to do that is to turn down the volume. Yes, listening to your favourite music at louder volume may seem fun. However, this fun should not come at the cost of any damage to the ears.
  • Use over the year headphones instead of earbuds. The more the distance between eardrums and the speaker of the device, the better. Although this may not prevent damage entirely, it can certainly minimize the risk.

Samuel Mayer

Samuel has been part of Top Health Journal for quite a while now. He has immense interest in medicine and thoroughly enjoys writing about this theme. His philosophy is: write simple and short, always assuming your reader to be a layman who knows nothing about the topic. Twitter- @SamuelM54534849

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