As great as music is, listening to it too loudly can lead to a whole range of hearing problems. This is particularly true if you wear headphones, as the noise isolates your ears.
Over one billion young adults are at risk of permanent hearing loss due to exposure to loud noise. With such a staggering number of people unintentionally harming their ears, it’s important to do all you can to prevent irreversible damage.
This guide will take you through how to protect your ears when wearing headphones. Luckily, you can still continue to wear them, providing that you follow these safety measures!
How Headphones Can Damage Your Ears
As stated by the NHS, “listening to music through headphones is one of the biggest dangers to your hearing”. This is because excessive noise can fatigue the sensors in your ears, resulting in tinnitus or hearing loss. While these problems can be temporary, long-term exposure can result in permanent hearing loss.
Occasionally wearing your headphones won’t cause such problems, but listening too loudly for too long will put your ears at risk. This is why it’s all the more important to protect your ears when listening to music, no matter what.
Common Signs Of Hearing Loss
While we hope this guide reaches you before any problems arise, it’s crucial to look out for early signs of hearing loss. These include:
- Difficulty hearing people
- Misunderstanding what people say
- Having to turn the volume up louder than usual
- Having to concentrate when listening
As well as having troubles with hearing loss, you may also experience:
- Tinnitus (continuous ringing in the ear)
If you have noticed changes to your hearing or experience the above symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.
How To Protect Your Ears When Wearing Headphones
Don’t worry – while headphones can cause hearing problems, this doesn’t mean that you have to stop wearing them altogether. It’s all about being both safe and mindful of how you wear them!
Read on to discover how to protect your ears when listening to music.
1. Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones
More times than not, people raise the volume of their music to block out other noises. Whether trying to concentrate at work or blocking out white noise, turning the volume up seems like the most practical solution. This, however, is a surefire way to cause ear damage.
Instead of increasing the volume on your headphones, consider investing in noise-cancelling ones instead. Noise-cancelling headphones are specifically designed to block out unwanted noise, allowing you to listen to your music without any distraction. Learn about how ANC works, which can prevent you from increasing the volume up too much.
2. Keep Volume Levels Below 60%
Many devices show volume percentage, alerting you when it gets too high. Don’t ignore these percentages and warnings; they are there for a reason!
According to NHS guidance, never go above a volume level of 60%. Going above 60% will enter into a frequency that your ears aren’t used to, increasing the risks of hearing loss.
3. Listen Comfortably
Let’s be real here – it’s usually pretty easy to tell when your music is too loud. Whether it causes a headache or makes it difficult to focus on anything else, the warning signs are usually there.
With the above in mind, always make an effort to ensure you’re listening comfortably. If you can hear the music clearly, there’s no need to increase the volume.
4. Monitor Time Spent Wearing Headphones
As mentioned earlier in this guide, listening to loud music for too long will increase your chances of hearing loss. To help with this, keep control of the time spent wearing headphones. Never wear them for longer than an hour at a time; take a five-minute break every hour.
3 Top Tips For Ear Health
Lowering the volume of your music will make a huge difference to the health of your ears. But, of course, there are many other things that can be done to reduce the risks of hearing loss.
1. Take Caution At Music Events
If you’re reading this guide, then chances are you’re a huge music lover. And, there’s no better place for music lovers than concerts!
Any music event will be a loud one – but that’s all part of the fun. To continue having the same amazing experience while protecting your ears, take these tips into consideration:
- Wear earplugs (proper ones won’t muffle the sound!)
- Take a break every 15 minutes
- Move away from speakers
- Avoid excessive noise 18 hours after the event
2. Utilise App Technology
There are many apps out there that help to control your volume levels. These apps monitor your listening habits, figuring out when it’s time to make some changes. The most popular apps include:
3. Enjoy The Silence
Sometimes, it’s often best to just take a break from loud noises altogether. If you’ve spent the whole day blasting music through your headphones, it’s wise to enjoy the silence for a while. This might be every music-lovers nightmare, but looking after your ears now will mean you can hear your beloved music for years to come.
When making an effort to ‘enjoy the silence’, stay away from loud environments and keep yourself busy with a calming activity. From taking a walk to trying out yoga, there are many things that you can do in silence!
Enjoy Music For Many Years To Come
Protecting your ears when wearing headphones is simple but often overlooked. By safeguarding your ears now, you can decrease your chances of hearing loss later in life. This means that you can live a life full of your favourite tunes, without any hindrance!
If you’re concerned about your ears or hearing, do not hesitate to book yourself in for a checkup. This is particularly important for those who work in loud environments.