Jamming to your favorite jazzy tunes, listening to podcasts on everything from the world of car accident lawyers to a deep dive into the fishing industry, being engrossed in vivid audiobooks – having a set of headphones can be awesome.
So it’s easy to forget that headphones can pose a risk to your health. In fact, the risks posed by headphones can be serious, from hearing loss to physical damage.
1. Volume & Frequency
The most common hazard associated with headphones is hearing loss due to high volume levels. When the volume of your headphones is too loud, it can damage the delicate structures of your inner ear and cause permanent and irreversible damage over time.
To avoid this, keep the volume at a reasonable level that isn’t uncomfortable or painful to listen to. Typically, the recommended level is no more than 85 decibels of sound exposure over an 8-hour period.
2. Length of Use
Prolonged exposure to loud sound can not only damage your hearing but can lead to other physical ailments such as headaches, tension, and fatigue.
To avoid these complications, take regular breaks from using your headphones to give yourself a break from the sound and give your ears a chance to recover. For instance, consider taking a break for at least 10 minutes after every hour of listening.
3. Comfort & Fit
Not all headphones are made the same. For one thing, not everyone’s ears are the same shape or size.
To ensure your comfort and safety, it’s important to make sure your headphones fit properly, without putting too much pressure on your ears. Otherwise, you may be at risk of physical damage to your hearing, neck, or even jaw.
How do you find the right size?
- Don’t just buy the first pair you see. Try several different sizes of ear cups and headbands to find the one that fits you best.
- If you’re purchasing your headphone online instead, look for headphones with adjustable headbands and soft cushioning to avoid putting too much pressure on your ears when wearing them.
The buildup of dirt and wax in your headphones can cause a lot of problems, such as reduced sound quality, distortion, and even physical discomfort.
Keeping your headphones clean is how you’ll prevent these problems. Regularly clean your headphones of dirt and wax buildup by using a dry cloth or an alcohol-free cleaning solution designed for headphones.
5. Damaged Cables & Connectors
Damaged cables and connectors can be a safety hazard. While they generally don’t have enough voltage for electrocution, harmful distorted noise, and even cuts are examples of the real risks associated with using damaged headphones.
To avoid these risks, check the cables and connectors of your headphones regularly for any signs of damage or wear such as fraying, exposed wires, or loose connectors. If found, consider getting new ones using the tips in point 3 as soon as you’re able.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your headphones are not only safe but comfortable to use. Remember, the key is to be aware of the risks associated with headphone usage and take steps to protect your hearing from the potential dangers. So always remember to keep your listening sessions at a moderate level, take regular breaks throughout the day, find the right fit, clean regularly, and replace them at the first sign of fraying wires or loose connectors.