We seem to be wearing earphones or headphones more often since we stare at our phones and desktops for longer periods these days. We wear our earphones to workout, watch videos or movies, or listen to music or podcasts. Most of the time when you are wearing earphones, you are trying to unwind or relax. But, just like how staring at a computer screen for too long can damage your eyes, wearing earphones can do some harm to your ears as well. The following steps are ways you can harm your ears when you using an earphone;

Ear Infections

Wearing earphones or headphones creates a perfect environment in your ear that allows bacteria to grow. The temperature inside your ear increases when earphones are put on, giving bacteria a more comfortable environment to multiply. Also, earphones are usually left on surfaces like your desk, in your purse or when shoved into your pocket. This allows them to pick up more dirt and bacteria that then can be placed in your ear. Earphones can also push earwax back into your ear. Usually, your ears can get rid of excess earwax naturally. But when earphones are blocking the ear canal, there can be a build-up of earwax. An excess amount of earwax can block hearing since it prevents sound from reaching your eardrum.

Potential Hearing Loss

Earphones are always very close to your eardrum. When earphones are at their maximum volume, they can generate 85-110 decibels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 80-85 decibels, which is equivalent to a gas-powered mower (grass cutting machine), can cause ear damage after two hours of exposure.

When exposed to 100 decibels, which is equivalent to an approaching train, hearing loss can be experienced in just 15 minutes. Headphones are different. They are not placed directly into your ear and the decibels can vary with different brands It is also important to know that decibels decrease with distance. So, headphones that you wear over your ears are better for your hearing since they are not placed directly into your ears. Just make sure not to play your music at full volume.

How you can avoid suffering from hearing loss and ear infections

There are many ways to avoid suffering the negative side effects of wearing earphones and headphones for too long. The first step is to turn down the volume. Music may sound better when the volume is at full blast or close to it, but you will not be able to listen to music when you are older. The second step is to use headphones that go over your ear. As mentioned earlier before, decibels decrease with distance. So, the more distance you can create with your eardrum and your headphones the better. The last step you can take to prevent any negative side effects is to wear earphones less often. Instead of listening to music or videos, you could read a book or go for a walk. If you can complete these steps, you can keep your hearing in a healthy state for a long time.