What if you are asked to spend a day without a phone and headphones? Would you be able to survive the day? If your straight answer is a NO, you’re addicted to your phones. But we assume you knew that already. It’s just that you took it for granted. 

But what if we tell you that the prolonged use of mobile phones can cause hearing loss? If not that, then reduced hearing abilities for sure. 

Yes, this is a word of caution for those who use their mobile phones all day long. And those as well who are on calls or listening to music all the time. 

Need more details? Keep reading.

The alarming numbers 

If this piece of information is not enough to draw your attention, these numbers would. As per research, almost 1.1 billion people are at risk. If WHO stats are concerned, then there’s a good chance that nearly 2.5 billion people will have a certain degree of hearing loss and almost 700 million people will require hearing rehabilitation. 

How mobile phone addiction can impact your hearing abilities? 

It’s not mainly mobile addiction, but prolonged use of headphones and high-volume content that is concerning and a red flag. The structures of the inner ear are delicate, and more prone to damage, be it music, games, or videos.  

Tiny hair cells in the inner ear are in charge of sending sound information to the brain. But when you are exposed to loud sounds, these cells become damaged, which may lead to hearing loss in the long run. 

To dig into details, you must understand that the sound waves coming from headphones or earphones cause certain vibrations in the eardrums. This vibration travels all the way through the small bones into the inner ear and onto the cochlea, which is a chamber in the ear comprising tiny hair. Nevertheless, when these vibrations reach the chamber, the fluid vibrates, making the hair move and causing damage. 

The devices, such as headphones and earphones, produce sounds that can go up to 120 decibels, which can be severely damaging. The same exposure, at those levels, for even 10-15 minutes, can cause permanent hearing damage. 

Not to forget the constant headaches 

You may enjoy your time listening to music on your headphones for hours, but just so you know they can also cause headaches that can be a huge inconvenience for you, not to mention painful. 

There can be several reasons as to why headphones can cause headaches. First things first, it is very likely that you are wearing the wrong headphones or earphones. By wrong headphones or earphones, we simply mean those that aren’t the right fit for your ears. They may also have a shallow ear cup padding, which just makes things worse. The volume is another problem. 

Bluetooth headphones emit electromagnetic radiation that can give headaches. Now this radiation may not be as intense as emitted by smartphones, it can still cause headaches in some people. 

In addition, bluetooth headphones may cause headaches due to increased stimulation of the auditory nerve. Unlike wired headphones, where sound passes through multiple tissue layers, Bluetooth transmits sound directly to the ear canal, resulting in higher intensity. This lack of filtration can lead to greater stimulation of the auditory nerve, potentially causing headaches.

What can you do to be in the clear? 

The answer is obvious, you need to stop using these devices. But we also know that this is not possible. So, the most sustainable alternative is to limit the usage of headphones. Prefer listening to music or watching videos on an external speaker. In case your job requires calls for prolonged hours, try to switch between speaker mode and earphones from time to time. 

While you are at it, control the volume. Swear by the golden 60/60 rule to limit damage. This means it’s best if you can listen to 60 decibels for 60 minutes and then take a break. 

When you are using headphones with mobile phones, make use of smart settings that come with phones nowadays.

Go to settings – headphone safety –  reduce loud audio to the lowest level. 

Check if your smartphone has this option in the settings section

Closing thoughts 

The loud music, the never-ending work calls, there are tons of factors that may affect your hearing. Hearing loss is becoming more and more common in young individuals, making self-intervention necessary. As established, the constant use of mobile devices, especially with those earbuds always in, could lead to some serious hearing issues. It’s time to take a step back, crank down the volume, and give our ears a break. Let’s be a bit more mindful of our tech habits to make sure we’re not sacrificing our hearing in the process. Your ears will thank you!

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