The Risks Associated With Earpods and Earbuds

Risks of Using Earbuds

In contemporary times, earbuds and earpods have become ubiquitous among individuals of all ages, ranging from adolescents and teenagers to working adults. These compact audio devices are designed to be placed within the ear canal and function as speakers, offering a convenient and practical audio solution. However, there are concerns regarding the potential impact of prolonged usage on hearing and ear health due to the risks of using earbuds improperly.

The Risks of Using Earbuds and Earpods

Prolonged exposure to loud music is the leading risk associated with these items. It is essential to be aware of the potential harm caused by listening to music at high volumes for an extended time.

Otitis Externa

This infection affects the ear canal, also known as “swimmer’s ear .”One of the common causes of this condition is the repeated and frequent use of in-ear headphones. Earbuds or earpods can seal off your ear, block airflow, and increase the risk of developing otitis externa. This infection can be quite painful and may require medical attention.

Sound-Induced Hearing Loss

Noise levels ranging from 78 to 132 decibels (dB) can have detrimental effects on the hairs responsible for perceiving sound, which can result in tinnitus (ringing sounds in the ears) and hearing loss. The intensity of the sound is directly proportional to the speed at which it can cause damage to your hearing.

Earbuds can reach dangerously high volumes of 102 to 112 dB. Lengthy exposure to sounds at this level can damage hearing in just a few minutes. One in five teenagers already have hearing loss from loud sounds. It’s necessary to be mindful of volume levels when using headphones to protect your hearing.

Signs that the Decibel Level of the Sound you are Exposed to is Excessive

• To be heard, you have to speak loudly.
• It isn’t easy to hear or comprehend someone standing three feet away from you.
• You notice your hearing sounds muffled or dull after leaving a noisy area.
• You experience pain or ringing in your ears for a few minutes or days after exposure to loud sounds.

Protect Your Hearing When Using In-Ear Headphones

Ensuring that you and your children aren’t exposed to deafening volumes is crucial, especially for kids who frequently use earbuds or earpods. To safeguard your hearing, here are a few measures you can take:

• Set a volume limit on your phone or tablet to minimize exposure to loud sounds.
• Wear earplugs when exposed to loud sounds, such as when doing yard work, attending concerts or sporting events, and more.
• Consider custom-made earplugs that are more comfortable than standard foam earplugs.
• Regularly clean your earbuds with rubbing alcohol and allow them to dry completely before using them again.
• Opt for bone-conduction headphones that don’t cover your ears and thus don’t create a breeding ground for infections.
• Take a break from using earbuds or earpods to give your ears time to rest and prevent the risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.
• Schedule an annual hearing test or baseline test to monitor your hearing health.

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