Using headphones on your commute to work, while exercising, or at your workstation is quite a common sighting. They are a good way to manage distractions, elevate your mood, and zone out to concentrate on important tasks. Serious audiophiles take it up a notch by having a whole arsenal of headphones at their disposal.
While headphones are great, there are some health implications we often turn a deaf ear to (pun intended). We don’t intend to scare you. Our intention is for you to use headphones safely and optimally for a long time. Following is a quick guide to using headphones safely.
Avoid listening music at high decibel levels
A decibel (dB) is the unit to measure sound pressure levels. For your reference, normal speech 60 dB (approx) and ambulance siren ranges between 100 to 105dB. Experts say that users exposed to 85 dB for more than 8 hours are at a greater risk of hearing loss. Listen to music at a pleasant volume.
The golden 60/60 rule
Experts have developed this golden rule to help you use headphones safely for longer durations. This 60/60 rule suggests that users listen to music at 60% of maximum volume for 60 minutes a day. Some music addicts may find 60 mins too less, you can counter this by bringing the volume down after long listening sessions. Also, take regular breaks to avoid ear fatigue.
Don’t push inear headphones too deep
Manufacturer's design earbuds to go up to a safe distance in the ear canal. Do not push them in too deep. Doing so can increase chances of rupturing or causing damage to the eardrums. If the earbuds don’t fit, change them or replace them with smaller earbud tips. Aim to buy headphones that fit your ear perfectly.
Don’t pull out earbuds with force
If you chuckled reading this, you probably haven’t pulled out earbuds with force before. When headphones are inserted in the ear canal, they fit into the groove and create air-tight pocket (suction). Pulling out earphones with force could lead to sharp pain in the ear followed by tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears).
Clean your earbuds regularly
Earbuds are potential source for causing ear infections. Avoid sharing in-ear headphones with others as much as possible. Sanitize your headphones with rubbing alcohol especially after they have been used by someone else. Also, you can buy headphones that offer multiple earbud tips, to avoid all hygiene issues.
Be alert while using headphones outdoors
Whether you are commuting to work or going for a jog, it is crucial to be in tune with your surroundings. Quite often, people walk with headphones plugged in their ears and are unable to pick up auditory clues that could avert accidents. For e.g. being unable to hear the honking horns of oncoming traffic. You could avoid this my listening to music at a lower volume and by staying alert, especially outdoors.
Using headphones to listen to your favourite tunes is extremely gratifying. Follow these simple tips and you will be using headphones safely for a very long time. We hope you liked our guide to using headphones safely. Feel free share it with your friends and other music buffs.