There is always a question in our mind while putting earbuds in our ears can earbuds cause hearing loss? If so then how you can reduce this risk.
I will explain every detail.
Yes, earbuds can cause hearing loss. If you listen from earbuds for a long time them they canals cause permanent hearing loss. This condition is known as the noise-induced hearing loss(NHL). Earbuds are so harmful that according to study 1 out of 5 teenagers suffer from the hearing problem because of an extensive use of earbuds.
Can Earbuds Cause Hearing Loss?
Most of us love earbuds and they are our first choice when choosing between headphones and in earphones. They are small, reliable and can be carried easily. They provide us with private listening in home, schools, gyms and while doing a workout.
But believe me, people are using a lot and especially teens. In fact, you are reading this article because you are using too many earbuds or your parents are telling you if you use too many earbuds then they will cause your hearing loss.
They are telling you the truth. Earbuds are harmful but only if you use them for a long time. But the problem is we use them a lot. In fact, I also use them while watching movies and playing games. They can easily sit in your ears for 2-3 hours. And that is a lot. When I remove them my ears are beeping. And sometimes that hurt.
After a long time study I came to know that earbuds, in earphones or headphones give you more damage then they give you benefit. Soi stopped using them. And my advice to you is to stop using for a long time.
You can use them 10 to 20 minutes but don’t use them for 2-3 hours. That’s harmful.
How Earbuds Damage the Ears?
If you listen to high-intensity music or you are in a place where there is too much noise then this can cause your hearing problem.
If you are a rider then you know what I am talking about. I also drive a motorcycle. If I drive it for a small-time then it is okay and the moment I drive it for more than 30 minutes my head starts to go crazy.
When I stop my ears start to beep and I cannot clearly hear the person talking next to me. The motorcycle produces 100 dB sound. I mentioned motorcycle here because motorcycle and earbuds are co-related both can damage your ears.
An ordinary mp3 at 70% of its volume produce the sound of 85 db. For a person with a good sense of hearing it is really loud. If you listen to this sound for a long time then you are increasing the chances of permanent hearing loss to a great extent.
And if you use earbuds with your smartphones then there is a certain sound level. If you exceed from it then it will show you “Increasing sound level can cause hearing loss”. I think this level is enough for people who have average hearing sense. You should not exceed this volume because you are putting your ears to the risk.
How Loud Noise or Music damage our ears?
I already explained that loud sound or music can damage your ears. But I didn’t explain the science behind it.
Our ears consist of three parts
- Outer ear
- Middle ear
- Inner ear
The inner ear contains tiny hair cells. The small hair cells take the sound signal to our brain.
When you listen to loud music or sound then all of these tiny cells are at risk of getting damaged. These cells are sensitive and if they get damaged then the sound signal you hear will not get to the brain and you will not get to know what sound you are are hearing or probably you will hear no sound.
If inner ear hair cells get damaged then they don’t recover easily and if still, you don’t stop listening to loud music then you are putting salt on the wounds. Then the infection will get worse and in the result, you will not hear anything forever.
Listening to loud music through earbuds for a long time can cause severe hearing loss. For example, if you listen to music at 90 db for three hours is equivalent to listening to a jet plane taking off for 30 seconds.
A jet engine is really loud. We can’t stand even 10 seconds listening to it but we are listening to it for 3 hours. See how extensive use of earbuds is damaging our ears.
Signs Of Hearing Damage
If you are a high user of earbuds or headphones than it is better to know if you have damaged your hearing or not.
There are some signs that will tell you have you damaged your hearing.
Here are the signs of hearing damage
- Ringing and buzzing in your ears when you hear a loud noise.
- Distortion of sounds.
- The family history of hearing loss.
- Have diabetes or thyroid problems.
- Have trouble hearing women.
- You listen to the radio or Tv very loud.
- Feel like people are mumbling.
- You have been asked you speak too loud.
These are the things that hearing damage person faces.
If you have any of these problems then it is better to consult a doctor. Because if you don’t know the damage you can get it worse and it can cause you permanent hearing loss. We don’t want to lose our hearing because it is a great blessing.
How to Use Earbuds the Right Way?
So I have explained how earbuds can damage your hearing but how can you avoid that but still listening with earbuds.
There are a few simple tips and tweaks that can protect your hearing while listening to earbuds. If you follow along then surely your hearing will not get damaged.
- Always listen sound at 60% of your player. This is enough for an average person. If you are sitting next to person than ask him if he can hear what’s playing in earbuds.If they say yes you listening to Baby Baby and reduce the noise so that he can’t hear it. That ideal sound level to listen.
- Limit the use of earbuds to 60 minutes per day. You can reduce this time but can’t exceed.
- In case your hearing is damaged it is recommended not to use earbuds. Instead of earbuds use speakers. You can buy small portable speakers and listen to music there. The more rest you give to your ears the better it is for your hearing.
- Buy a new pair of earbuds. There are tons of really best earbuds available on Amazon and find the best one. I would recommend using earbuds that can fit in your ear canal because it reduces sound leakage from your ears.
- Wear earbuds the right way. Most of us just take out the earbud connect them to your smartphone and start listening but that truly is not the way. In Fact, most of the earbuds are designed to be put in this way. There is another way that is the best I found. Instead of putting earbuds like the cable is hanging from your ears. You should go around your ears. Take the earbuds to go around your ear then place the earbuds in your ear.
Here is a video that demonstrates this process.
Can the loss of hearing be reversed?
Yes and No. There is two type of hearing loss one is temporary and the second is permanent.
If you have a temporary hearing loss than it will get reversed but you have to visit the doctor immediately. In case of permanent hearing loss than there is no chance that you will get back your hearing.
Temporary Hearing Loss
Temporary hearing loss can cause due to a number of factors such as if you are taking some medicine then they can affect your hearing skills. It will get solved with time. Sometimes when a person is suffering from high fever then he can’t hear sound well. This is also a temporary hearing loss.
If sometimes you feel ringing in your ears and you cannot hear sound correctly than don’t worry it is temporary but make sure to visit a doctor because if you wait too much then it can get permanent.
Permanent Hearing Loss
Noise Induced hearing loss(NHL) can be a permanent hearing loss. I explained that earbuds can cause NHL. That is why they are so dangerous. If you listen to loud sound for a long period of time than you are increasing the risk of NHL.
The permanent hearing loss can’t be reversed but with some right techniques, it can be reduced.