Headphones can inspire you to perspire—but studies show it may bring about hearing impairment.
Wearing ear buds and headphones have the ability to cause damage to your ears just as other loud noises can. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the amount of time spent using headphones is as important as how loud the music is played.
Listening to music from your personal device at full volume for just five minutes can damage your hearing. While recommendations vary, the NIH recommends the “60/60 rule”—where the average person can listen to a personal device at 60 percent max volume for 60 minutes per day—without doing damage to their hearing. Go one step further and simply lower the volume as much as possible and below 85 decibels (dB). For comparison, 85 dB is about as loud as busy traffic, 60 dB is a normal conversation, and 30 dB is whispering. There are apps that can measure noise levels, just make sure they’re calibrated properly.
Take a Break
Be sure to take audio breaks. Studies show the longer you listen to your personal device, the greater the risk of causing permanent damage to your hearing. So remove your ear buds or headphones every hour to give your ears a rest.
Another tip is to avoid listening to music in noisy environments because the tendency is to turn up the volume. Instead, use isolator-style headphones that seal the ear canal and physically block out background noise.
Keep these simple tips in mind and you’ll prevent hearing loss while listening to your favorite tunes and podcasts.