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How to wear earphones without damaging your hearing

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, December 25, 2018  /  09:09 am
How to wear earphones without damaging your hearing

A study in the United States found that 51 percent of high schoolers experience hearing loss due to exposure to loud music. (Shutterstock/File)

When in need of listening to something, earphones are everyone’s best friends. They give privacy, prevent disturbances and make good accessories, all packed in a light and practical wire. However, wearing earphones comes with a risk.

A study in the United States found that 51 percent of high schoolers experience hearing loss due to exposure to loud music. The World Health Organization also found that 43 million people aged 12-35 experience hearing loss, and at least 50 percent of these cases are due to using earphones at a high volume. 

Here are three tips on wearing earphones without the risk of hearing loss, as compiled by kompas.com:

1. Reduce the volume 

According to the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, the United Kingdom, the average volume of music while wearing earphones is between 95-105 decibels. For comparison, normal chatting voice is 60 decibels, while thunder can reach 120 decibels, which can damage hearing in only 9 seconds.

Constant loud noise can exhaust the sound-capturing sensory cells in the ear. One of the exhaustion symptoms is a buzzing sensation. However, resting the ear occasionally gets rid of it. 

Read also: Secondhand smoke causes hearing loss in children, study finds

2. Limit wearing duration to 1.5 hours at a time 

Oregon Health and Science University, the United States, reported that listening to music through earphones for 15 minutes with maximum volume will damage hearing. Loud sounds can permanently damage stereocilia cells, the fine hairs responsible for delivering sound vibrations to the brain.

The habit of prolonged listening to loud music can sharply decrease someone’s hearing. The decrease is indicated by a constant ringing in the ears and having to increase audio volume in order to hear clearly.

3. Routinely clean the earphones

Based on research by Indian clinical microbiologist Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay and his team, 68 percent of earphones are home to bacteria. Additionally, the habit of lending earphones to others can also increase the risk of bacterial growth. 

The presence of these bacteria can increase the risk of external ear canal inflammation known as otitis externa. It causes the ear to feel pain and pressure, also produces pus-like stinky discharges. (iru/kes)