Today’s technology is moving at a very high speed with the development of different electronic gadgets. Some of these gadgets pose terrible risks to our health. For example earphones, which are loudspeaker drivers worn on or around the head over a user’s ears. They are electronic in nature which converts an electrical signal to a corresponding sound. This earphones are engineered to give you a powerful sound in a lightweight. We observe people walking everywhere with earphones and headphones, they not only harm the user but also the surrounding people.
During the past decade, the damaging effects of excessive exposure to loud music from portable earphones have gained attention. There is an increasing concern as headphones are often listened to at unsafe volumes for prolonged periods of time for adults, teens and even young children.
Using the headphones for a long period causes:
- TINNITUS. [Noise in ear]. This is due to exposure to extremely loud noise. It is a ringing, buzzing, and roaring noise in the ear or head. Damage to the hair cells in cochlea [part of the inner ear] is mostly responsible for this condition. The hair cells transform sound waves into nerve signals which are relayed to the brain. When the brain does not receive nerve signals properly it produces abnormal nerve signals to compensate for the missing input by the cochlear hair cells.
- HYPERACUSIS. This is an increased sensitivity to normal environment sounds.
- SEVERE EAR INFECTION. It is usually unavoidable that people share earphones. Daily usage of headphones can increase the development of injurious bacteria. Sharing or using same earphones can cause the transmission of somebody else’s microorganisms to your ears.
- LOSS OF HEARING. This is one of the major side effects of excessive use of earphones. When you use them, the audio goes directly into your ears and reaches your eardrum. People who continuously use them are at a high risk of loss of hearing and also hearing complications. If you increase your volume to 100% for at least 15 minutes every day you can undergo serious hearing problems.
- AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN. Headphones usually generate electromagnetic waves known to be risky for the human brain in the long term. Also, since the inner ear has a connection with the brain any damage or infection in the ear can also affect the brain.
- EAR PAIN. Headphone addicts frequently visit the doctor with illness of unbearable ear pain. You normally hear some peculiar and diverse sounds buzzing in your ears. You also feel deadness in your ears sometimes. Excessive use of earphones can cause numbness and severe pain in your ears.
- LOSS OF CONNECTION WITH REALITY. It may result in serious consequences like accidents. People who use headphones when walking or jogging are so engrossed in their private world that they may not be able to hear the honking of vehicles or an approaching train and often becomes victims of accidents.
- LEARNING DISABILITIES. This are also outcomes of hearing loss. Chronic loss exposure in classrooms is known to affect a child’s academic performance in areas such as comprehension and memory. They are not able to remember what they learned yesterday in class.
EFFECTS OF HEADPHONES ON THE BRAIN.
Loud music damage the nerve cells and has the same effect on nerves as multiple sclerosis [ a progressive autoimmune disorder affecting nervous system] noise levels above 100% damage the protective insulating myelin sheath of nerve cells which carry signals from the ear to the brain. Loss of the protective coating, called myelin disrupts electrical nerve signals causing partial or complete deafness.
TIPS THAT CAN HELP YOU KEEP AWAY FROM HEALTH PROBLEMS
- Avoid using stylish, small earphones as they go into your ear canal straight. Go for bigger ones.
- Do not share your headphones.
- If they have sponge or rubber covers change them once in a month.
- Avoid playing loud music, maintain a low volume of about 40%.
- Avoid using them every day, give your ears rest.
- Don’t use them when traveling.
- Purchase high quality headphones as they will block more of the environmental noise, thus allowing the user to reduce the volume and still hear the music comfortably.