Headphones can cause hearing damage; know how to avoid

The headphones became popular for practicality and for providing privacy for those who use them. The quarantine period, when more people went to work from home or spent more time at home, can become a favorable time to increase the use of these objects, either due to a video call from work or to listen to music to kill boredom or get distracted.


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Despite the advantages, headphones can also be harmful to hearing, and therefore require some care from users. It is important to pay attention to the loudness, the cleaning of the equipment and possible discomfort that the use of it causes in the ear.

Thiago Zago, a doctor specializing in otolaryngology, points out that the abusive use of headphones is already the second biggest cause of hearing loss in the population, second only to aging. When considering only the young audience, it is the first cause.

“The higher the sound intensity, the shorter the time of use”, advises Zago. It is also important to consider that the time of use is cumulative, for example, if a person works in a noisy environment and when they get home they are also exposed to a lot of noise, there is a sum of the two exposures and the damage increases.

“When the sound reaches the ear, it causes a vibration in the eardrum, which is taken to the cochlea, the auditory part of the inner ear. The hair cells, when they receive the vibration, move, and when exposed for a long time they can lose their sensitivity before to the vibration of the sound frequency “, explains Zago.

As the phone has a greater intensity than sounds from the external environment, due to the proximity to the ear, it is easier to generate these damages in hair cells, which do not regenerate and thereby reduce a person’s hearing capacity.

In general, it is recommended that people follow the “60 by 60 rule”: do not listen to more than 60 minutes of sound per day at a volume greater than 60% of the device’s sound capacity.

The doctor points out that most devices nowadays already have a security setting, which indicates when a person is using more than 60% of the phone’s capacity. On some cell phones and computers the bar indicating the sound is divided into squares, and each square represents 10% of the device’s capacity.

When the 60% rate is exceeded, the sounds start to become very loud and harmful to the auditory system. Another way to identify if the loudness is harmful is to ask a close person if they are listening to what we are hearing on the phone. If so, it is because the volume is too loud.

Some newer headphones also have applications that allow you to monitor the loudness. “If you are listening to something at a time when you cannot have a conversation with a person, you are probably above [recommended],” adds the doctor.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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