Monitor Your Earbud Use to Protect Your Hearing

Monitor Your Earbud Use to Protect Your Hearing

Earbuds have become a popular way to listen to music and podcasts and watch videos. But although they are ubiquitous, they are also more dangerous to our health than we may realize. 

A study by the World Health Organization in 2015 found that earbud use increased by 75% between 1994 and 2005. That study also found that individuals from middle and high-income countries between the ages of 12 and 35 regularly subjected themselves to unsafe sound levels with their portable music devices.

This is why we need to understand more about how these devices might be damaging our ears.

How do we hear?

Sound travels from our outer ear to our inner ear, where the cochlea is located. This organ known as the cochlea is lined with many tiny hairs called cilia and filled with fluid. 

Sound waves travel into the cochlea, where they cause the fluid to vibrate. It sets the cilia in motion. These thousands of tiny hairs play an essential role in transmitting sound from the cochlea to the auditory nerve and directly into our brain, where the sound information is interpreted and relayed to us.

It is important to note that the stronger the vibrations that enter the cochlea, the stronger the motion of the sound, which moves the sensitive hair cells. The louder the music, the more the cilia bend to the vibrations of the sound waves. 

This prolonged exposure could lead to permanent noise-induced hearing loss. According to doctors, once there is damage or presence of a hearing loss, our hearing cannot return to its original state.

The length and volume of exposure are key.

Volume is the most apparent danger when it comes to noise. Loud noises harm our inner ears, where sounds are directly transmitted to the brain. High-volume music from a small collection of speakers put deep into the ears proves to be a toxic combination and has a detrimental effect on our hearing safety.

Kenneth H. Wood, BC-HIS

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With so many myths and misinformation about hearing loss and hearing care, it’s often the unknowns or confusion that holds us back from making the right decisions.

That’s why we have a hearing care expert available to help.

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