Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hearing Loss?

December 7th, 2013 | by Andreas Seelisch | Hearing Protection
Can Wearing Headphones Cause Hearing Loss?

Headphones are a neat little gadget that have made listening to music so much more enjoyable. They allow us to escape into our own little world and offer some privacy from those around us. But one of the most popular questions we get from clients is whether wearing headphones can cause hearing loss. And the answer to that is yes.

Excessive headphone use can absolutely damage your hearing over time. That’s why it’s a good idea to enjoy these little gadgets responsibly and take some time out if your ears are feeling a little sore.

We’ve all been in those situations where we can clearly hear what the person next to us is listening to on their headphones. This is a good indication that their volume is up too high. Chances are, however, that the one listening to this music isn’t even aware of this. That’s because our ears get accustomed to certain pitch levels over time. These volumes become acceptable to our ears and therefore not bothersome. For years, audiologists have been concerned about the noise levels that standard electronic devices can produce. Stereos, MP3 players and iPods can produce noise levels that reach up to 120 decibels. That is about the same as volume levels at a typical rock concert. Imagine being exposed to this type of audio a few times a week for years on end. A loss of hearing is bound to occur.

When patients become concerned over headphone use, audiologists usually recommend they be used for no longer than 30-45 minutes at a time at acceptable volume levels. This will not only prevent hearing loss, but will also minimize the skin irritations that can come about from headphone insertion.

If you do feel that you may be experiencing hearing loss, take note of the symptoms below. There are also online audio tests that you can take to better-analyse your hearing capabilities.

Symptoms of hearing loss include, but are not limited to:

  • A feeling that the ears are plugged with tissue/cotton
  • Ringing or buzzing noises in the ear
  • A need to listen to electronic devices at higher levels that in the past

The best way to assess your hearing is to book an appointment with an audiologist. At Hearing Solutions, our staff are experts at diagnosing and more importantly, treating hearing loss. Today’s hearing aids are so much more technologically-advanced and better-concealed than their earlier counterparts. So stop by Hearing Solutions and let us get your hearing back on track!

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