With the rise of personal technology, it’s not uncommon for people today to own a portable media player. Putting on a pair of headphones when we work out, go on the subway, or when we just want to shut off the world for a bit has become an ingrained aspect in many people’s lives. Portable, personal technology has become embedded in our society, so much so it would be hard to imagine life without them. However, even though portable media players have made their mark on our lives, many people do not consider the negative consequences of listening to music through a pair of headphones.
When a person wears headphones for an extended period, hearing loss can slowly creep up on you. Since you only have one set of ears, you need to be proactive and take care of them. A good first step is to follow these MP3 ear safety tips.
• When you are listening to your MP3 player, try to choose a pair of headphones over ear buds. You want to limit the amount of strain you are putting on your ears by having the source of sound further away from your inner ear. Ear buds are placed in the ear, whereas headphones sit on top of your outer ear.
• Invest in a good, high-quality pair of headphones that are noise canceling or sound isolating. By doing this, you can help prevent damaging your ears further. Because these headphones can mute out distracting background noise, you will be less likely to turn up the volume.
• If you plan on listening to your music through a pair of headphones for an extended period, make sure you give yourself a break. A good rule of thumb is to follow the 60/60 rule, which means you listen to your music for up to 60 minutes at 60% volume. After 60 minutes, give yourself at least a 10-minute break before you put the headphones back on.
• Many MP3 players have an option in the settings for a ‘volume limiter,’ so use it if you have this available to you. Otherwise, you might be tempted to turn up your volume too loud if you don’t own a pair of sound canceling headphones.
• If you like to have music lull you to sleep, don’t fall asleep wearing a pair of headphones. Instead, have your personal media player attached to a pair of speakers, and if possible, set a timer so it doesn’t play all night. While wearing headphones may seem like the easier option, falling asleep with headphones on can increase your chances of damaging your ears.