Did your mom frequently remind you to take out your headphones so you didn't lose your hearing as a kid? Maybe you still worry a little about hearing loss every time you attend a loud concert or plug your headphones into your laptop to avoid disturbing your coworkers. But does loud music really hurt your hearing, or is that just another old wives' tale? Here's what you need to know.
Headphones can lead to hearing loss under the right circumstances.
If you use them properly, headphones (and earbuds) can be completely safe. The problem starts when you turn the volume up too high. Modern headphones can reach volumes of 120 decibels, and according to experts, it only takes 75 minutes of listening to music at that volume to damage your hearing.
So, how do you know if your headphones are too loud? Ask yourself if you can hear what's going on around you as you listen to your music. If you can still detect the background noise, you're at a safe volume. Another good guideline is not to turn your music up past 60% volume when wearing headphones.
Can loud concerts really hurt your hearing?
Sadly, the answer to this question is also "yes." Your mother was not just trying to scare you away from that angsty teen music, after all. The volume at rock concerts often reaches 115 decibels or higher, which is plenty loud to cause permanent hearing loss. Just one concert at this level can affect your hearing. Attend years' of them, and you may end up with substantial hearing loss.
What should you do if you've been listening to loud music for years?
You're far from the first person who has broken the rules and spent years listening to loud, ear-damaging music. If this has been your habit, it's important that you visit a hearing specialist for a complete hearing test. They can evaluate your hearing and tell you the extent of your hearing loss. If needed, they can then prescribe hearing aids so you don't miss out on the sounds around you. Keep in mind that today's hearing aids are not the big, clunky devices of yesteryear. There are styles that are nearly invisible in your ear canal. Of course, you should also take steps to stop listening to such loud music! Turn the volume down on your headphones, and wear earplugs when you do to concerts. They're loud enough that you'll still be able to hear everything clearly.Share
20 May 2017
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!