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Are Headphones Hurting Your Ears?

Most of us love our headphones, especially in this era of Zoom calls and podcasts.  Headphones connect us to conversations and let us listen to content in private.  However, every time you increase the volume of your headphones, there is a potential for losing your hearing.

Headphones and earbuds pose a risk because people have a tendency to turn up the volume, and listen for long periods of time. If you wear headphones or earphones and turn up the volume to drown out background noise, you’re probably doing more damage than you realize.

To protect your ears from damage with headphones, you should:

  • Lower the volume. This simple move is the most effective thing you can do to protect your hearing. The recommended safe volume level is below 85 dB.
  • Take regular breaks: Sound intensity doubles with every 3dB increase. So each time the volume increases by even a little bit, hearing damage can occur in roughly half the time it otherwise would.
  • Opt for noise-reduction headphones. Wearing earbuds or headphones with good noise-cancellation can help buffer external noise. By minimizing or filtering out external sounds, these devices allow you to hear just as well at a lower volume.
  • Apply the 80-90 rule. The 80-90 rule means listening at 80 percent of your device’s maximum volume for no longer than 90 minutes and per day. If you turn it down, you can listen for more time.  If you turn it up, you get less time.  At 60% of the maximum volume, you could listen all day, every day, safely.

We at the Hearing Institute of Ontario want to preserve your hearing as best as we can.  By following the above specifications, we will attempt to do so.

At the Hearing Institute of Ontario, your hearing health is important to us.
Contact our Mississauga or Oakville office for a FREE consultation with our knowledgeable and experienced audiologists, to discuss the best hearing solution for your hearing loss type.