When walking through the hallway or sitting in class, something you will always see is earphones. Everyone has them and we all use them, but are they negatively affecting our future?
Think about how much earphones and headphones are involved in our everyday lives. We use them to do our homework, block out noise, work out, or just enjoy our favorite songs. They help us isolate ourselves and go into a world where it’s the song and our thoughts. What is so dangerous about doing that?
Overly-loud earphones are more hazardous than you think, and once the damage happens, there is no way to reverse it.
I never even considered earphones or headphones to be dangerous, since our lives are already filled with loud noises, alarms, and sirens. But turning your volume up full blast and putting those mini speakers in your ears is doing so much damage that in fact, one in five teens has some form of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).
About 1.1 billion young people are at risk of hearing loss because of unsafe listening habits, reported The World Health Organization (WHO).
Noise-induced hearing loss happens in your inner ear when hair cells are damaged. These hair cells send sound messages to your brain. Once they are impaired, hair cells will not grow back. The damage is irreversible, though it takes a long amount of time to occur, so being cautious now is important.
“[People] should be aware that once you lose your hearing, it won’t come back,” said Dr. Etienne Krug, director at WHO. “Taking simple preventive actions will allow people to continue to enjoy themselves without putting their hearing at risk.”
Some of the actions you can take are easy and worth it to protect yourself. The first thing you can do is be aware of how loud your volume is. Follow something called the “60/60 rule.” Keep your volume levels at or under 60 percent for 60 minutes a day. The higher your volume, the shorter amount of time you should listen. Another thing you can do is buy a better pair of earphones that are comfortable and fit your ears.
At our age, our hearing should never be a worry in our minds, but understanding the possible damage and taking action is never a bad idea. Sound is powerful and protecting ourselves before the damage is done will ensure our health for the future.