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What are the harmful Effects Of Listening to Music With Earphones

Views: 9     Author: Hatton     Publish Time: 2023-03-17      Origin: Site


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What are the harmful Effects Of Listening to Music With Earphones

Technology is the most necessary evil of our time, and earphones or headphones are one such necessity right now. While taking an early morning walk, crossing the street, boarding a metro, traveling by bus, sipping coffee in a café, or simply taking a call in the office, you will notice several people listening to music or talking through earphones throughout the day. However, by leaving your earphones plugged in too long, you may not be disturbing those around you, but you are certainly harming yourself without realizing it.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that approximately a billion young people worldwide may be at risk of hearing loss as a result of their unsafe listening habits while using earphones.

The primary issue with the headphones is the volume exposure they provide to the ears. Earphones can produce extremely loud levels of sound very close to the ear and are thus extremely dangerous. It should be noted, however, that it is not always about the volume of the headphones, but also about the length of time the earphones are used. Earphones are also contaminated by germs because they are stored in too many places. Sharing the earphones paves way for the transfer of these germs, which further induces harmful effects on the ears.


How do blaring earphones damage your ears?

Earphones send sound waves into our ears, causing the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration travels to the inner ear via the small bones and reaches the cochlea, which is a fluid-filled chamber in the inner ear made up of hundreds of microscopic hairs. When this vibration reaches the cochlea, the fluid vibrates, which causes the hairs to move as well. The stronger the vibrations and the faster the hairs travel, the louder the sound.

Long-term exposure to loud music causes the hair cells in your ears to lose their sensitivity to vibration. Loud music can also cause the cells to flex or fold over, giving the illusion of temporary hearing loss. The hair cells may or may not recover from these extreme vibrations. However, even when they recover, they mostly cannot function normally, which can cause permanent hearing loss or deafness and is almost impossible to recover from.

Side Effects of Using Earphones

Some of the harmful ways in which earphones can affect our ears are:

NIHL(Noise-Induced Hearing Loss)



Hearing loss


Ear infection

Excessive ear wax

Pain in the ears

Effect on the brain

NIHL: It is not only about the volume that you expose your ears to through those earphones but also the duration that can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

Tinnitus: The damaged hair cells in the cochlea can result in a ringing, buzzing, or roaring noise in the ear or the head. This consequential electrical noise is called tinnitus.

Hyperacusis: More than 50% of the people who suffer from tinnitus are prone to develop high sensitivity to normal environmental sounds too. This condition is referred to as Hyperacusis.

Hearing Loss: As mentioned above, loud music or long exposure tends to make the hair cells bend down too much and severely, the extent of which can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss.

Dizziness: Many times, the increased pressure in the ear canal due to loud noise can also result in dizziness.

Ear infections: Since the earphones are directly placed into the ear canal, they block the passage of air, which enhances the chances of infections in the ear. The regular and long-term use of earphones also increases the growth of bacteria. These bacteria stay on the earphones, and repeated use infects the ear. When the earphones are shared, the same bacteria from one person’s ear transfers to the other person, exposing that person to serious ear infections.

Excessive ear wax: Using the earphones for a long time also develops excessive ear wax which further accelerates the chances of tinnitus, hearing difficulty, earache, and frequent ear infections.

Pain in the ears: Long-term usage of earphones as well as using earphones that are poorly fit can induce pain that can often extend to the inner ear as well, leading to soreness in the vicinity of the ear i.e. from the jaws to the top of the head.

Effect on the brain: The electromagnetic waves that the headphones generate result in problems for the brain as well in the long term. High decibel noise levels withdraw insulation from nerve fibers that carry signals from the ear to the brain. Ear infections can also affect the brain.

One can save the ear from any severe damage through the earphones by being aware of the consequences and by making small habitual changes.

How to avoid hearing damage from headphones?

The following tips help to prevent hearing damage from headphones/earphone:

1.The most basic change is to not keep the volume very high.

2.Restrict your exposure to loud noise as well as the duration.

3.Make use of noise-canceling headphones.

4.Use over-the-ear-model to avoid direct sound vibrations to the eardrums as well as direct contact with the ear canal.

5.Regularly sanitize the headphones to stop a buildup of bacteria, sweat, and shed skin.

6.Avoid using earphones when traveling by car, bus, train or even walking. Traveling in an already noisy public transport adds to the decibel level due to the surrounding sound.


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