Are Earphones to Blame for Hearing Problems?

Everywhere you look – on the high street, on the train, on the bus, in the park, in shopping centres – it seems as though everyone is listening to music with their earphones in. Since the release of the iPod, the general public have gone crazy for mobile music players and their incorporation into the iPhone has only increased the number of people listening as they go about their daily lives.

It’s been estimated that over the past twenty years, teenagers in America experiencing issues with hearing loss has risen by 30% and experts are putting this down to the mobile music players including the iPod. Excessive levels of loud music being played so close to the ears are putting hearing at risk, and more people are visiting and similar specialists for treatments and solutions to their damaged hearing.

A study was performed recently at the Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston, America, to try and establish the basis for the rise in hearing problems and it threw up some interesting results. The study revealed that the majority of people surveyed said that they had experienced only ‘slight’ damage to their hearing, with girls less likely to be affected.

The European Commission even got involved in the report, claiming that around ten percent of 30-year olds “may have to wear a hearing device in the future.” Experts recommend that it is only healthy to apply the “60/60” rule to listening to music, whereby you listen for 60-minutes at a time, and at 60% volume at the highest to avoid causing any long-term damage to your hearing.

Obviously, listening again later on is down to personal choice but you should take a significant break to allow your ears to recover – a bit like taking a break after football training or a workout in the gym, you wouldn’t go straight back into another session there because your muscles would be tired and the same is true with your ears and listening to music.

Despite all of the warnings, it is still common to walk past someone listening to their music and you can hear what they’re listening to. If this is the case, that person is definitely listening to their music at a dangerous level. Unfortunately, it’s not “cool” to do what you’re told and turn your music down to an acceptable level with many believing that they’re being told to turn down the volume because they’re a nuisance, rather than for their own wellbeing.

People all over the world go for regular check-ups on their eyesight, their dental health and their overall health, yet very few people choose to go for a hearing test. Your hearing is one of the most important senses and should be treated as such, to monitor any changes in the quality of your hearing and to get to the bottom of any problems before they arise or cause your hearing to deteriorate.

It is, however, important that if you are going to spend significant periods of time listening to your music device that you think about reducing the volume or taking regular breaks.