Are Your Headphones Damaging Your Hearing? | Blog | Nardelli Audiology

Are Your Headphones Damaging Your Hearing?

By Melissa Carnes Rose, Au.D. June 17, 2024
Are Your Headphones Damaging Your Hearing? - Nardelli Audiology Blog

We all love to listen to music at top volume. It can be fun for a while, but over the years, this high volume can lead to permanent hearing loss. Damage to hearing is an irreversible condition that can require you to obtain hearing aids, so make sure you are listening to music at a safe sound level. How can you know what level of sound is safe for your ears? Read more to find out.

When you wear your headphones, you are often too immersed in the musical experience to realize just how loud it is. This is why it can be helpful to step back, take off your headphones while the music is still playing and either put them on the table or simply hold them in your hands with your arms outstretched. If you continue hearing your favorite song playing just as loudly as when you had your headphones on, this means you are listening to music on a dangerously high level on your headphones.

Make sure you lower the volume and then conduct the same test as mentioned above until you can barely just make out faint sounds emitting from your headphones. Be sure to take frequent breaks when you are jamming out to your favorite melodies on your headphones. Your ears need a well-needed rest to continue functioning properly.

The recommended highest level of safe sound for your headphones is at 60% of the available maximum volume. If you listen to your headphones beyond this level, it could permanently damage your hearing.

Sometimes we may not be able to neutrally judge our own sound settings. This is where other people come in. If the people around you are constantly complaining that they can hear your music loudly even though you are wearing headphones, this means your volume is too loud. Turn down the volume until those around you can no longer hear what you are listening to.

Listening to music for extended periods of time can bring on tell-tale warning signs in your ears. If you find that your ears are ringing after you turn off the music and your room is quiet once more, it may be an indication that the volume on your headphone is too loud. Interestingly, research shows that only around 30% of people who play rock music encounter hearing damage, while 52% of those who play classical music suffer from hearing loss, so rock on!

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