Can Earbuds Cause Ringing Ears
Definitely Yes, one of the main causes behind having ringing ears or tinnitus is listening to or exposing your hearing to loud sounds or music for a period of time, such as those at music concerts, cinemas or sporting events, and above all of that using earbuds with loud volume levels can cause ear ringing.
Ear ringing or tinnitus symptoms are signs of hearing loss, many people are having different definitions for what they feel in their hearings, so lets summarize those definitions up to signs of hearing loss caused by earbuds are:
So, as a logical advice if you experience any of the signs mentioned above better to consult your doctor immediately because those symptoms are non-recoverable and should be stopped from getting worse.
How To Tell If You Have Hearing Loss From Headphones
You may have symptoms of hearing loss, or you may notice people close to you are exhibiting warning signs. Common signs of hearing loss include tinnitus, a persistent ringing in one or both ears, regularly asking people to repeat what theyd just said, and mishearing things. If youre experiencing these symptoms or have more obvious signs of hearing loss, such as clear difficulty hearing or partial deafness then the best way to confirm your suspicions is through a hearing test.
When you book a hearing test with an audiologist clinic like ours, well run through a series of comprehensive tests to measure your ability to hear. Our range of tests ensures we can give you a complete understanding of your inner-ear health and advise you on the best course of action.
How You Can Prevent Noise
To protect your hearing and to reduce your chances of developing noise-induced hearing loss, its important to be proactive about your hearing health. The good news is you can still use earbuds to listen to your music. Some ways you can be proactive about your hearing include:
- Keep your volume at a safe level, below 85dB
- Switch out your earbuds for headphones
- Use headphones that have a noise-cancelling feature
Dont let noise-induced hearing loss affect your hearing ability. Keep your ears safe by listening to music at a comfortable level.
If you are concerned that you may have hearing loss, or you want to be proactive about your hearing health, visit a hearing specialist near you. A hearing specialist will diagnose any hearing loss and will help you keep your hearing safe now and for the future.
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Take Precautions At Work
If you’re exposed to loud noises through your work, speak to your human resources department or occupational health manager.
Your employer is obliged to make changes to reduce your exposure to loud noise, for example, by:
- switching to quieter equipment if possible
- making sure you’re not exposed to loud noise for long periods
- providing hearing protection, such as earmuffs or earplugs
Make sure you wear any hearing protection you’re given.
What Can A Parent Do
Luckily, parents do have some options to help avoid hearing damage in their children, and the key is to limit the volume and the length of time kids spend using earphones.
Many devices have settings that allow you to control the maximum volume output. With an iPhone, for example, in the settings look for Sounds & Haptics and then the Headphone Safety tab. This will let you adjust the maximum volume from 100 dB down to 75 dB.
You can also buy volume-limiting headphones that cap the sound output reaching a kids ears, no matter how high the volume is on the device theyre using. Those are legit, they are really good, says Scollie, who used them with her own children when they were younger.
When travelling on a subway or airplane, or spending time in a loud space, the background noise is elevated so the tendency is to crank up the volume. If you can hear the signal coming out of your childs headphones or earbuds, it is too loud, says Chang. You can look for deep-seated earbuds that have a snug fit in a childs ear or alternatively, headphones that are noise cancelling, meaning they block out external sounds while being used so that users can lower the volume on their device and still hear clearly.
Children should also give their eardrums time to rest. Chang recommends a two to one ratio, If youre wearing headphones for two hours, take an hour off to give your ears a bit of a break.
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How Headphones Damage Your Hearing
To block out other sounds, the volume can be turned up to dangerous levels. To give you an idea of how loud this actually is, let’s do a comparison. A motorcycle engine operates at 100 decibels, and a chainsaw works at about the same volume. These are loud, unpleasant noises that can hurt our ears and cause ringing for hours afterwards.
In comparison, a music player working at 70% volume is playing sounds as loud as 85 decibels. These sounds are played directly into your ears, intensifying this effect. If youre on a noisy bus or an airplane, you turn up the volume to make the music stand out from the background noise. If the background noise is 75 dB, you might increase the volume to 90 dB to hear it clearly. The problem is, that the ear doesnt care why you turn the volume up. To the ear 90 dB is 90 dB.
Dont Turn The Volume Up In Loud Environments
Lets say youre commuting and it gets noisy, or youre on a loud aircraft and the engine whir is messing with your sound. The temptation is to turn the volume up. Louder music helps both drown out the noise and makes it easier to hear. Background noise can really get in the way of a song. But the background noise is not making your music quieter, which means raising the volume is raising the decibel levels your ears are experiencing, and risking hearing damage. For the purposes of cutting out background noise, instead of raising the volume, try to wear noise-cancelling headphones.
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There Are Earphones That Deliver Excellent Audio Experience But With This Greatness Comes Health Risks
There are many individuals who use earphones as constant companions while studying, travelling, sweating it out in gym or simply to avoid conversations as music makes almost everything bearable. Earphones are now an inescapable part for most people but blasting music in ones ears does have its consequences.
Earphones can damage the ears if they are used for a long period of time at a high volume, and can result in partial to complete hearing loss, also known as noise-induced hearing loss. The damage can be permanent as the sound from earphones cause the hair cells in the cochlea to …
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What Are The Best Headphones With Volume Control
So weve established that volume control is key, but if you have a job where you just cant get away from using headphones all day, you can at least set yourself up to do the least damage possible to your ears. Notably, some studies have found that hearing devices with noise-cancellation features allow individuals to listen at lower volumes, since background noise is muted, says Kozin. Active noise-canceling headphones can use technology to either block out sounds similar to the way earplugs would, or process out sound waves from outside noise.
Sonys WH-1000XM4 headphones are the king of this latter method of noise cancellation, featuring two microphones on each earcup that capture ambient sound and balance your noise levels in real time, adjusting to a range of environments. The additional microphones also means more isolated, crisper sound while talking on the phone, and an overall reduction of loud high-frequency sounds that might be more damaging. If youre looking for the most adaptive sound control on the market, these headphones are the way to go.
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Can Wearing Headphones Cause Headaches
If youre walking around all day sporting wireless earbuds crammed in your ears, you might be affecting more than just your hearing. Voigt says that earbuds made from harder material can press up against the bone and the front of the ear canal, or the temporomandibular joint . The presence of a hard earbud in that area pressing against the jaw joint causes people to get ear pain, TMJ pain, and headaches, he says.
But even though over-the-ear headphones have a band around your head, they may not be the cause of your pounding headache. With thats a little less likely to happen, because youre not putting something into that hole, he explains. With something that goes into the ear hole, youre making kind of an airtight seal, and something that goes over your entire ear wont be as tight. Theres more of a space for air and humidity exchange.
What Are The Symptoms
When people have listened to sounds above a level safe, they might feel like their hearing has become muffled. Later, this sensation may go away. But if it happens repeatedly, its likely their hearing wont return and will instead begin to decline. Similarly, a person may also experience a ringing in their ears, known as tinnitus, after listening to loud music. They may find this dissipates and returns at different times, but regardless, it often signals that they have damage to their hearing.
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How Noise Leads To Hearing Damage
The volume and duration of exposure are both important when it comes to the effects of noise on health. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , listening to loud noises for a long time can cause hearing loss just as much as a one-time exposure to extremely loud noise.
What essentially happens in the longer run is not just damage to the cells and membranes in the cochlea or inner ear, but also the overworking of the hair cells in the ear which can lead to these cells dying. In fact, 30-50% of these hair cells may already be damaged by the time an auditory test detects a problem.
The longer the exposure, the greater the harmbut thats not where this ends because the damage can be permanent in the auditory neural system and the effects of the exposure are likely to last even after the exposure has stopped.
According to the UKs National Health Service, any noise above 85dB is considered to be harmful, especially if the exposure to it is for longer durations. A sound is considered to be loud if:
- It hurts your ears
- You cant hear what people near you are saying
- You have to raise your voice to talk to people near you
- You feel a ringing in your ears even after the noise has subsided, i.e., tinnitus
- You experience muffled hearing after the noise has subsided
The following are some common types of noises and their decibels to give you an idea of why keeping the sound levels below 85dB is good for you:
Are Headphones Advisable To Use With Tinnitus
You can use noise-canceling headphones if you are suffering from tinnitus, and yes, even expert advice recommends patients to wear headphones.But people should seek medical advice on the right kind of headphones to use. That said, there is a ton of information on the various tinnitus forums online where individuals talk about how they manage tinnitus while listening to audio and music they love.Also, as we have just seen, noise-canceling headphones can reduce the effect of tinnitus for patients by decreasing the loud noises that cause later episodes. Noise-canceling headphones can also prevent some of the underlying causes of tinnitus, like hearing loss, by eliminating users need to increase the volume.
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Set Controls On Phones
Most phones have settings that allow you to set a maximum volume so you dont accidentally exceed a safe limit. Navigate to the settings menu to search for this feature, or look it up online if you cant find it. This is a great way for parents to manage the way their child is listening to music in particular.
‘after Gigs I Would Just Hear This Wall Of Noise’
DJ, producer and singer Elizabeth Rose spends most of her life with a pair of headphones on.
But after years performing in booming nightclubs and venues, the 27-year-old noticed the first signs of tinnitus creeping in.
Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears, and is usually one of the first signs of hearing damage.
“After gigs, I would just hear this wall of noise, like a constant fuzz. As I would get into bed and everything else would be quiet, I would notice the ringing sound,” she said.
Terrified by the prospect of losing her hearing, Elizabeth dramatically changed how she worked.
She invested in custom moulded ear plugs to wear under her headphones, and she keeps away from speaker stacks while performing on stage.
“My voice is my instrument, but my ears are equally as important,” she said.
“If my hearing got worse, I’d have to pull back on touring, which is the main income as an artist these days. So it’s just too much of a sacrifice.”
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How Headphones Earbuds Can Slowly Harm Your Hearing Over Time
- Headphones and earbuds can impact hearing loss in children and young adults as they age.
- Children, teenagers, and young adults listen to many hours of music per day at volumes exceeding the globally recommended public health limit.
- There are ways to set healthy noise limits and protect your hearing.
Cranking up your earbuds as you listen to music or a podcast might be your favorite form of self-care.
However, it might not be the best for your hearing.
According to recent analysis, high levels of noise can affect hearing loss in the future.
Children, teens, and young adults may be particularly at risk if they often listen to many hours of music per day at volumes exceeding the public health limit of 70 decibels of average leisure noise exposure per day thats recommended by
World Health Organization estimates that around 50 percent of people ages 12 to 35 are at risk of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud sounds, such as music heard through personal audio devices.
I think on a broader level, the medical and audiology communities, as well as the general public, dont understand that significant hearing loss is not part of normal healthy aging, but largely represents noise-induced hearing loss, Dr. Daniel Fink, board chair of the Quiet Coalition, told Healthline.
He compares this misunderstanding to the misconception that deep wrinkles and skin pigmentation are part of normal aging, whereas they largely represent solar or UV damage .
Tips Reducing Risks Of Hearing Loss Using Earbuds
TIP 1 Moderation
Using your earbuds with moderation in terms of how long do you use them with moderate audio volume levels will 100% prevent you from facing hearing issues.
If you are wondering how to define the word moderate in terms of using earbuds, simply follow the below:
TIP 2 Using Headphones Instead Of Earbuds
Using earbuds on a regular basis is much harmful than using headphones, the reason is that the earbuds are types of in-ear headphones which you insert into your ear canal, by doing so the sound will be more concentrated to your hearing thus the side effects of listening to music in this way logically is more negatively impacting your hearing.
Instead of that, using a good pair of an on-ear headphone with a good noise cancellation should give you the possibility to reduce the media player volume level of your favorite music, since they help block out other noises, you dont need to turn up the volume of your music as loud to hear it well.
But you should remember that using headphones instead of earbuds doesnt make you fully protected against hearing issues, especially when you are listening to music in a high volume.
TIP 3 Listening To Music In A Fairly Quiet Environment
TIP 4 Use Retro Headphones
TIP 5 Use External Speakers Instead Of Headphones
TIP 6 Using Ear Plugs When Attending Loud Environments
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How Loud Noises From Headphones Hurt Your Ears
It can be hard to know how loud is too loud when listening via headphones. On an ordinary music device, you might hear sounds as high as 94-110 dBA. Less than two minutes at 110 dBA can damage anyones ears.
Listening to these blastsor at more reasonable volumes but for too longleaves its mark. It can damage the hair cells in the ears that transmit sound to the brain. It can also interrupt the connection between those cells and nerve cells, and the auditory nerve may degenerate.
In The First Place Can Frequent Use Of Noise
When tinnitus occurs, it’s often due to you getting exposed to loud sounds or some level of hearing loss. Does this mean your headphones are the cause of it? That’s very likely, especially if you consistently use them to listen to music with the volume turned up. The louder and longer you use your headphones to listen to music , the more you’re likely to encounter hearing loss. Speak to an audiologist, and they’ll inform you that it isn’t the earbuds or headphones you use that’s the problem but the audio volume of the headphones or earbuds that you’re using to listen that is responsible. Even in short, quick bursts, loud sounds can cause a tremendous amount of damage to your hearing. If you get tinnitus, it’s possibly because you’re playing your audio for too long and too loud. This is regardless of the kind of headphones you use. Any one of them will eventually get your hearing damaged if you neglect the proper caution required when using them.So how do you get the best out of noise-canceling headphones without causing damage to your ears? We’ll see that in a bit.
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