Most people know that headphones can be a contributing factor to hearing loss, especially among young people. In general, it is advisable to avoid them, even if you are an audiophile. An excellent speaker system can certainly rival most headphones in terms of audio quality. But, sometimes, wearing headphones seems unavoidable. Perhaps you do not want your audio to bother those who you live with or your fellow commuters. Or maybe you just want to get lost in a favorite song or album. In this case, here are a few tips to minimize hearing loss from headphones.
Use headphones, not earbuds!
It is important to know the difference between headphones and earbuds. In casual speech, the two terms are frequently used interchangeably. Generally speaking, headphones go over your ears. Earbuds, on the other hand, are much smaller, and fit inside your ear canal. Headphones cause less hearing damage than earbuds, due to the increased distance from your eardrums to the source of the noise. Earbuds are far more ubiquitous than headphones in public, especially among joggers. This is partially because they are less fashionable. But wearing over-the-ear headphones in public may be a better idea, especially if it means saving yourself hearing loss and tinnitus later in life.
Turn down the volume
This may seem too obvious, but one of the simplest things you can do to reduce hearing loss from headphones is to reduce the volume. Some music lovers—especially young ones—believe that the enjoyment of music is amplified with the volume. Audiologists caution against this impulse, as there is a direct correlation between volume (measured in decibels) and hearing damage. The danger of hearing loss is especially grave if you are listening to loud music for long periods. You may be surprised just how enjoyable your favorite music is, even at a lower volume.
Look into noise-canceling headphones
A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can fetch a pretty penny, but the dividends in terms of hearing loss just might be worth it. The fundamental principle working in their favor is that they allow for audio to be heard at much lower volumes. Imagine that you are on a plane. You might not realize it, but planes are often incredibly loud. As a result, you will likely end up turning the volume on your device higher so that it can compete with the ambient noise of the plane. Noise-canceling headphones combat this issue. Even if you just use over-the-ear headphones, they will likely muffle the ambient noise far more effectively than earbuds, ergo reducing hearing loss.
Experiencing Hearing Loss? Bay Area Audiology Is Here To Help
Ready to do something about your hearing loss? Our Doctor of Audiology, Dr. Trisha A. Bents Muth, is exceptionally experienced in the art of audiology, and provides the absolute best solutions. Bay Area Audiology has been working to give patients a comfortable environment, with thorough evaluations. We are independently owned, and unbiased when it comes to finding you the care you need.
Don’t hesitate–we can help.