Published June 14, 2022, 2:46 p.m. by None
Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a person who doesn’t own a pair of earbuds. Listening to music and making hands-free calls are just some of the reasons why we use earbuds. Whether we admit it or not, there are times that we wear our earbuds for long periods. Some doctors warn against this and suggest headphone usage instead. But are earbuds that bad for the ears? How Loud Noise Can Damage Hearing? The key danger of headphones is volume the fact that they can produce very loud levels of sound very close to your ear. This is dangerous for your hearing because loud noises, in general, are damaging to your ears. When sound waves reach our ears, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is transmitted to the inner ear through several small bones, where it reaches the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid-filled chamber in your ear that contains many thousands of small “hairs.” When sound vibrations reach the cochlea, the fluid inside it vibrates and causes the hairs to move. Louder sounds cause stronger vibrations, which cause the hairs to move more. When you listen to sounds that are too loud for too long, these hair cells lose their sensitivity to vibration. Many loud noises cause the cells to bend or fold over. This is what causes the sensation of “temporary hearing loss” after you are exposed to loud noises. The hair cells take time to recover from extreme vibrations caused by loud noise. In some cases, however, the cells never recover. They may be too damaged to function normally any longer. This leads to lasting hearing loss. This type of noise-induced hearing damage is almost impossible to recover from. No cure exists for repairing a damaged inner ear. Below are some of the ways earbuds cause damage to our ears: Earbuds carry dirt and bacteria. Since earbuds are so compact, it’s easy to leave them lying around. Unless you sanitize them, your earbuds have probably accumulated a great deal of dirt and bacteria. So the moment you put them in, your earbuds can introduce dirt and bacteria into your ears. This can cause allergic reactions, rashes, or even infections. Earbuds increase your risk of ear infections. Aside from carrying dirt and bacteria, earbuds can also increase ear wax build-up. Since our ears are designed to clean themselves, wearing earbuds can trap the ear wax that is supposed to be carried out. Excessive wax build-up leads to impacted ear wax that can affect your hearing. Earbuds can rupture your eardrums. Earbuds are designed to blast music directly into your ear canal. When you turn up the volume, the vibration of sound goes straight to your eardrums. This practice may cause your eardrums to rupture, leading to a complete hearing loss. Finding a SolutionReplacing your earbuds with traditional headphones is probably the easiest solution to minimize damage to your ears.But if you feel like you can never part ways with your earbuds, you may try some of these steps: Reduce the time you wear your earbuds. You may want to switch to headphones or speakers when you’re at home. Make sure your earbuds are always clean every time you wear them. A simple wipe or gentle cleaning solution should do the trick. You can also wipe with a damp cloth to remove any irritation. Be mindful of your volume. Avoid turning the volume up full blast for prolonged durations of time. Clean your ears. To prevent excessive ear wax build-up, clean your ears regularly. You may clean your ears using cotton swabs but make sure to clean only the outer area of the ear. You may also try some over-the-counter ear wax removal aids.