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How to prevent hearing loss from headphones?

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The figures speak for themselves: one in two young people listens to music with the volume of their headphones at a level that is harmful to their hearing. The WHO sounded the alarm over two years ago, warning of the harmful effects of headphones on the population. What will be the consequences for our hearing? How to prevent hearing loss from headphones? What to do in case of hearing loss? Here are the answers to all your questions.

What consequences do headphones have on hearing?

The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people, aged 12 to 35, will experience hearing loss from exposure to loud noise from the earbuds.

Unfortunately, the hearing loss due to headphones is irreversible, only the hearing aids allow you to regain hearing capacity. There is no treatment to restore hearing when it is related to sensorineural deafness.

Specialists distinguish two types of deafness:

Conductive deafness that reaches the outer and middle ear and prevents sounds from being transmitted to the inner ear. It is the consequence of earwax plugs, repeated ear infections, etc. In general, conductive deafness can be treated: drug treatment, diabolos, removal of adenoids, etc.

Sensorineural deafness as for it cannot be cured! It is the consequence of Ménière’s disease, of taking so-called ototoxic drugs, of a viral infection and also of a sound trauma due to exposure to loud noises, such as listening at full volume to your headphones. It is the consequence of damage to the hair cells which transmit sound from the inner ear to the brain, via the auditory nerve.

  • Hearing loss with serious repercussions

If the headphones have an irreparable effect on your hearing ability, be aware that not hearing any more results in serious sequelae on the physical and psychological state of people with deafness.

Children and young adults experience loss of self-confidence. They have difficulty learning and to himself focus. They end upisolate from others and then appear serious depressive disorders.

This is why, if there is any doubt about your hearing faculties or those of those around you, it is important to consult a ENT doctor or one hearing care professional.

Credit: iStock / Prostock-Studio

How to properly use your headphones to protect your hearing?

So as not to suffer hearing loss, the only solution is prevention.

More and more children are using earphones or headphones to watch a video, listen to music or play games, and this at an earlier age. It is not uncommon to see a toddler barely 3 years old, headphones on, watching a video on his parents’ tablet or smartphone!

Use your headphones well obviously starts with put the sound down. Above 85 decibels, damage to the inner ear is inevitable if exposure to noise is prolonged. From 110 decibels, damage to hearing is very rapid. Note that in-ear headphones at full volume easily reach 100 decibels!

What to do ?

  • You can take make your child aware of the dangers that he incurs to listen to his music too loudly.
  • Encourage them to listen to their music without earphones and headphones.
  • It is recommended favor headphones the atria that are too close to the eardrums, you can also invest in a flanged headset with the recommended 85 decibels.

The best way to find out if the headphone volume is too loud is very simple: if you start to hear ringing in your ears or to feel dizzy, it is time to turn down the sound!

Listen safely his favorite program or singer does not stop at lowering the volume of his headphones, but also at control the listening time. For listening at 85 decibels, it is preferable not to exceed the eight hours a day and this time is halved each time the volume is increased by three decibels. At 88 decibels, the maximum duration drops to 4 hours. Anyway, don’t you never fall asleep with your headphones!

How to spot hearing loss? What to do ?

Hearing loss is manifested by very distinct signs:

  • You need’turn up the volume of your headphones.
  • You have to repeat caller.
  • Some noises, such as ringing your telephone, are not more audible.
  • Of dizziness and tinnitus appear.

If you have any of these signs, it’s time to see a ENT or go to a hearing center.

You will then spend a hearing test in order to take stock of your hearing faculties. If the specialist notices an actual loss of your hearing, the ENT will then prescribe a hearing aid. This will allow you to find a normal hearing, all in replacing your earbuds. Know that today hearing aids are so sophisticated that they can be paired with your smartphone and broadcast sound directly into your ears and above all without any risk!


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