Earbuds can lead to hearing loss, according to scientific study
According to research published on Tuesday in the journal BMJ Global Health, it’s common for young people to listen to music, and watch movies and television shows too loudly and for too long.
Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of scholarly studies on risky music listening habits that were published between 2000 and 2021 across three databases.
The unsafe behaviors were monitored based on the usage of earphones as well as places like concerts, bars, and clubs.
According to lead study author, Lauren Dillard, a postdoctoral fellow at the Medical University of South Carolina and consultant to the World Health Organization, “we estimated that 0.67 to 1.35 billion individuals aged 12-34 years worldwide likely engage in unsafe listening practices,” and are thus at risk for hearing loss.
Why earbuds might affect your hearing
Earbuds are frequently preferred over other headphone options because of their less obvious size, they are quite stylish and can aid mobility.
Some earbuds do not have noise cancellation, and this makes people increase the volume when in noisy areas like a crowded bus, but even noise-cancelling earbuds should be avoided because our hearing is seriously endangered and we might not realize how loud the music is.
Any brand of earbuds delivers music directly to your ears because they are placed internally into the ear canal.
However, using earbuds can make your sound 6 to 9 decibels louder, which is more than enough to damage your hearing over time. Some phones, however, let you know when the music is too loud.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention set a safe noise level cap of about 85 decibels (Db). According to the study, listening for just 212 hours per day is equivalent to 92 decibels. The decibel level of our music can be used to determine whether it is too loud.
According to the study, listeners frequently chose volumes as high as 105 decibels when plugged into a smartphone or listening to loud music in environments where the sound typically range from 104 to 112 dB.
The sound of your earbuds can be as loud as an airplane, airplanes can be as loud as 130 dB and earbuds can reach a maximum volume of 100 dB. While no one would want to be that close to a jet engine, many of us have been so close to concert speakers or have played our music at volumes that were almost as loud as or even louder than that.
How do you know your music is outrageously loud?
The volume of your music is too loud if you can’t hear someone from an arm’s length away. Another sign that the sound needs to be reduced is if the person you’re speaking to has to shout in reply.
According to scientists, overexposure to loud sounds might wear out the sensory cells and ear structures. Ears may suffer lasting damage if that continues for too long and develop hearing loss, tinnitus, or both.