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Music lovers, beware: Excessive earphone usage may cause hearing loss

Earphones expose the ears to high-decibel sound waves, which can not only damage hearing, but cause tinnitus and numbness.

more lifestyle Updated: Feb 17, 2018 14:27 IST
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Idrees Bukhtiyar
Hindustan Times
Earphone,hearing loss,ringing sound in ears
Are you one of those who keep listening to music with your earphones on all the time? Here’s a piece of advice. (Getty Images)

For many, our earphones are our constant companions, no matter if we are studying, travelling, getting bored or simply avoiding conversation. However, all the fun has a flip side, as having earphones constantly plugged in our ears can have its consequences, too. Here’s how to ensure your earphone/headphone usage doesn’t harm you:

Keep a tab on the volume: This happens when you listen to music at high volume. According to experts, listening to music on your earphone should be done at a maximum of 70-80 decibels, otherwise it could cause hearing loss.

Keep aware of your surroundings: Often, plugging into your earphones during rush hour or while walking in a crowded street can become a cause of life-threatening accidents. Make sure the volume is down, or, take your headphones off altogether.

Beware of tinnitus: It is a condition that causes constant ringing in one or both ears even in the absence of any external sound. Commonly, it is caused by prolonged exposure to loud noise, and could coincide with hearing loss, so limit your earphone use.

Ear pain: Earphone users who listen to music at high decibels have been seen to complain of sharp pain in certain areas in their ears. To avoid this, decrease the frequency of your usage and consult an ENT specialist immediately, if you experience ear pain.

Tips to avoid earphone-related problems

1) Limit your earphone usage to an hour daily.

2) Avoid listening to loud music.

3) Use over-the-ear phones and avoid in-ear ones.

4) Don’t use someone else’s earphones, since earphones can get contaminated. Also, replace the cushions every two months.

With inputs from ENT specialist Dr Manni Hingorani and Dr Sumit Mrig

First Published: Feb 17, 2018 14:22 IST