Teenagers love to complain when their parents tell them to turn down the music. The old saying, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” is popular among anyone under the age of 40. Listening to music too loudly, though, particularly on headphones, can actually be detrimental to your health. Learn the health risks of frequent use of ear phones to prevent unnecessary damage. Whether you have a no-name pair of headphones you got from an airline or a brand new pair of Bose MIE21, the health risks of frequent use of ear phones are the same.
Why Is There a Risk?
As newer headphones and music players are coming on the market, the quality and volume of music are both rising. The better the music quality, the louder listeners want to play music. Also, the better the music player and headphones, the louder the volume can go. While some headphone designers have attempted to make a “safe” headset, there really isn’t any replacement for lowering the volume.
Health Risks of Frequent Use of Ear Phones
It’s estimated that up to 10% of personal music player listeners risk hearing loss for life if they listen to high volume music on headphones for over one hour every day for five years. While this may sound like a lot of listening, it’s common for students and business professionals who commute to school or work. Certain job duties, like being a messenger in an urban setting, also promotes listening to music on headphones.
The damage occurs when a lot of loud noise comes directly in contact with the ear. The inner ear’s hair cells can be damaged, which may lead to permanent hearing loss. Aside from losing your hearing, which is severe enough, exposure to loud music via headphones can also result in a tumor.
The tumor can, in turn, cause hearing loss as well. The types of tumors that can occur from exposure to loud music grow slowly, eventually putting pressure on the cranial nerve, which is what’s responsible for sensing sound. The cranial nerve is also responsible for balance.
As if hearing loss and a potential tumor weren’t enough, other associated health risks with headphones include heart attack and high blood pressure.
Other Types of Headphones
Headphones aren’t only associated with music players. Most cell phones come with headphones or wireless headsets. Business professionals who often listen to meetings or conference calls on their phone’s headsets are also exposed to the health risks of frequent use of ear phones.