DID YOU KNOW? EARPHONE USE CAN DAMAGE YOUR EARS.

Of late, people are becoming deaf earlier than our ancestors. Studies show that the exposure to noise pollution could have been the main culprit. Modernization and technological advancement has contributed markedly to the increase in ambient noise levels. Prolonged use of earphones to listen to music is on the increase, mainly among the young. If the same is not used it will lead to the damage to the ears.

It is very important to remember that many devices often have a sound output reaching 110dB and it is powerful enough to cause Noise Induced Hearing Loss with a single exposure.

  • The louder the noise the shorter is the safe exposure time.
  • The upper limit of safe daily exposure is slated for 85dB sound is 8 hours.
  • Typically the safe amount exposure time is reduced by a factor 2 for every additional 3 dB
  • The safe exposure at 91 dB is only 2 hours [National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 1998].

A simple way to define safe volume is to use the Earphone at a volume “which enables the wearer to hear normal conversational voice with the head set on”. Even at this volume, continuing listening though the ear phone should be restricted to an hour followed by a rest period of 2 hours.

Prolonged exposure to loud noise can not only cause permanent hearing loss but also other health conditions like headaches, lack of orientation etc.

Due to the hearing loss, over a period of time, people become socially recluse leading to more severe conditions like chronic depression

In addition to its effects on hearing, noise pollution also causes Non hearing Effects like,

  • Verbal communication – Interferes with speech communication.
  • Physical changes – Poor Concentration, Fatigue, Stress reaction. Exhaustion.
  • Sleep disturbances .
  • Cardiovascular Effects – Risk of hypertensive / IHD.
  • Mental Health Effects – Neurosis, Irritability, Anxiety, Emotional stress, Mood changes, Memory deficit.
  • Poor Performance – In school, work place.
  • Change in Behavior – Annoyance, Anger, Disappointment, Depression

Thus it becomes all the more important for us to be mindful on the use of Ear phones. In the case of children, the onus lies with the parents. It is their responsibility to monitor and regulate Ear phone use, thus ensuring that their children have a wonderful childhood.

To conclude, everything in excess in not good for the individual and also for the society