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Modern Technologies and Our Hearing

Twenty years ago, listening to music on your CD player or Walkman was the only time to use headphones. With the evolution of modern technology, we now all carry small mobile devices that have made music and video content incredibly accessible. The revolution of streaming services for both music and videos made headphone use second nature. Whether it’s YouTube, Podcasts or Spotify, there is never a reason not to be plugged in.

The side effects to such extensive headphone use can be incredibly detrimental to our hearing. Unfortunately, the loss of hearing is a gradual one and doesn’t offer a physical response, like bleeding, so we naturally dismiss the issue until it becomes apparent we can barely communicate. And so 90% of youth continue to use headphones at full volume and fail to practice safe measures to prevent hearing loss.

The Science Behind Headphones:

The act of putting two auditory sources straight into your ears is in itself very hazardous to your hearing. Understanding what’s happening can help illustrate the potential harm. The sound created by the headphones is hitting your eardrum directly, increasing the chance of damage. Headphones can generate noise of up to 120 dBs (Decibels), which is equivalent to a jet engine leaving the runway. This is incredibly high when compared to the recommended 80-85 dBs. Even then, this 80-85 safe range has a time limit.

Good Practice and Safe Hearing Tips:

It’s unrealistic to think that we can avoid all these sounds and favorite songs, but here are some ways to practice hearing loss prevention and avoid a disappointing trip to the audiologist.

  1. 60/60 Rule: When using headphones only raise the volume about 60 percent of the way and limit use to only about an hour.

 

  1. Type of Headphones: We naturally raise the volume to exclude background noise when listening with headphones, so consider buying in-the ear head phones with a soft rubber sleeve or noise-canceling headphones that cover your whole ear. The reduction in background noise will create better quality sound that you can enjoy at a lower volume.

If you feel that you are losing your hearing or would like more information, contact Dr. Joseph K Durán and his offices of New Generation Hearing. We have two locations in South Florida, one near Coral Gables and the other in Westchester.

We look forward to your visit!