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5 dangers of using your earphones and headsets for too long

In a digitally driven world, earphones and headsets have become indispensable for many of us, whether for work, leisure, or staying connected.

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However, prolonged use of these devices can have adverse effects on our health, particularly our hearing. Here’s why it’s important to moderate the use of these devices.

Extended exposure to loud noise is one of the leading causes of noise-induced hearing loss. Most earphones and headsets can produce sounds up to 105 dB or more, levels that can start to damage hearing in less than five minutes of exposure per day.

The closer the sound source is to the delicate structures of the ear, the more intense its impact, making in-ear devices like earphones particularly risky.

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Tinnitus, or the perception of noise such as ringing or buzzing in the ears, can be exacerbated or triggered by frequent headphone use.

It often occurs as a symptom of damage to the inner ear through excessive noise exposure, and can be temporary or, in severe cases, permanent.

Using earphones or headsets for long hours can also lead to ear infections. These devices can increase earwax buildup by blocking normal earwax migration out of the ear canal, which can lead to blockages or infections.

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Additionally, sharing earphones increases the risk of transferring bacteria or viruses from person to person.

Listening to any sound at a high volume for extended periods can lead to a condition known as auditory fatigue. This is stress caused to the auditory system due to prolonged sound exposure.

Symptoms include tiredness, sensitivity to sound, and feeling the need to increase the volume more over time to achieve the same level of audio satisfaction.

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Constant use of headsets or earphones, especially when listening to content, can significantly reduce one's awareness of their surroundings.

This distraction can lead to accidents, particularly if you are walking, driving, or in any situation where paying attention is crucial for safety.

  • Limit usage: Try to limit the continuous use of earphones or headsets to 60 minutes at a time.
  • Follow the 60/60 rule: Keep the volume under 60% of the maximum and limit listening time to under 60 minutes at a time.
  • Use noise-canceling: Opt for noise-canceling headphones that help block out background noise and allow listening at lower volumes.
  • Regular breaks: Take short breaks every 30 minutes to reduce the risk of hearing fatigue.
  • Maintain hygiene: Regularly clean your devices and avoid sharing earphones.

In conclusion, while earphones and headsets offer convenience and entertainment, it is vital to use them responsibly to protect your hearing and overall health. Moderation is key, and being mindful of volume and duration can help prevent potential health issues.

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