Are my headphones causing hearing loss?

Headphones keep gaining popularity among all age groups, especially youth.

Headphones are a staple for music lovers who need music for their workouts, during work and even during study time. Music is great for motivating, inspiring and for boosting your mood and energy. It’s no wonder that people enjoy having it around. MP3 players, smartphones and other devices make listening to your tunes easy. However, the use of headphones can cause hearing lossif you are not careful.

Earbuds are especially popular because they are light, inexpensive and easy to use. These little speakers go directly in your ear and can be particularly detrimental. Earbuds are a greater risk to hearing because they direct sound straight to the ear canal.

Exposure to long-term or sudden loud noise can damage the tiny hair cells in the inner ear that are responsible for helping send sound messages to the brain. This damage is irreversible and gets worse, over time, as more harm occurs. Listening through headphones at a high volume for extended periods can result in hearing loss. Noise induced hearing loss from headphones happens gradually, and you may not realize the extent of hearing loss that you actually have. Some signs that you might have some loss of hearing are ringing, buzzing or roaring in your ears. Additional signs of hearing loss are muffled or distorted sounds and difficulty understanding speech.

The key to preventing noise induced hearing loss from headphones is moderation. Keep the sound at a reasonable volume. Obviously if other people can hear the sound, then it is too loud. Many hearing professionals recommend going by the 60/60 rule. Listen to your device at a volume of not more than 60 percent and for less than 60 minutes at a time.

Hearing is so important to many aspects of daily life. Protect your hearing and seek professional care, especially if you think you have signs of hearing loss. Regular hearing check-ups are a good idea to keep proactive about your health. Sandia Hearing Center’s experienced hearing specialists can test and evaluate your hearing. Call us at 719-634-6260 or visit us for more information.