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Are Headphones and Earbuds Bad for Your Health?
When you’re working or when you are watching a movie while traveling, it's normal to want to shut out the world and put some headphones or earbuds on. But, because the external environment is loud, you tend to increase the volume to drown out the noise. At first it seems a little too loud, but you slowly get used to it. Before you know it, you are doing damage to your ears that could result in hearing loss.
You have a lot of loud sounds entering directly into your ears. Your eardrums and the hairs in your ears are getting rocked by the soundwaves coming from your headphones. So here is how you could protect your ears from possible damage.
How Does Loud Sound Cause Hearing Loss?
Headphones are little subwoofers that are neatly packaged to be transportable and able to be worn onto your head. This essentially changes how your ears intake soundwaves. The thing that is making the noise is right up close to your eardrum. Soundwaves are not always bounced off the inner ear walls and this can cause the eardrum to excessively vibrate and result in microtears.
But how does loud sound cause hearing loss? The ear can be divided into three distinct parts. The outer ear is the first thing that catches the soundwaves. It's shaped in such a way that catches sound but then bounces it around and then into the ear. Next is the middle ear, which funnels the soundwaves into your ear. It also protects the ear from ingestion dangers, which is why earwax is made by the body.
Finally, there is the inner ear, which is where the sound is absorbed and then through neurotransmitters, is sent to the brain. Loud noise essentially damages the hair inside the ear, which vibrates and absorbs the sound. When the soundwaves are too strong like loud noises, they can damage the hair cells. Thus, the cochlea can no longer relay sounds to the brain.
When It's Time to See an Audiologist
So when should you go and see a professional who can help you? Well, it's kind of like when you have trouble seeing. You don’t realize it straight away but you sense something is off. You're not your normal self anymore. Things are getting a little blurry, you need to get closer to something to see it properly and you don’t feel as confident in yourself and your surroundings anymore.
This is a lot like when you have hearing loss. You ask people to repeat what they are saying. You try to get closer to them, you start to focus more on their lips in a bid to try and lip-read what they are saying. You may also feel the need to look over your shoulder more often when you are out walking the town.
You just don’t feel as secure in knowing what is around you, without looking directly at it. Speaking to an audiologist is the first step. Our professionals will ask you a few questions about your hearing, lifestyle and mental health regarding your ability to hear, respond, track and understand different sounds.
We’ll Then Give You Options
When you meet us, we’ll get to know you. We make sure that our service is completely professional but also personal. We want to know more about you, what kind of things you get up to, whether it's sports, running, surfing and going to music concerts.
Then we will note down what kind of hearing aid would be best for your lifestyle and also, your look. We recognize that some people are self-conscious about wearing hearing aids, so we’ll also include the top discreet options on the market. For example, if you don’t have much hearing loss and you want to be subtle, we’ll recommend a range of in the ear options. Or you can try behind the ear options if you want something more powerful. If you want something in the middle, something that is powerful but not totally noticeable, then we’ll go over the in the canal options.
If you would like to know more about hearing loss, how your headphones or earbuds might be causing hearing damage, then give us a call! To learn more about The Hearing Clinic at Woodlake and contact us today at 612-200-8414.