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Headphones: A Health Hazard or a Sound Solution?

Headphones: Health Hazard or a Sound Solution

Summer is the season for music festivals. Across the nation crowds gather shoulder to shoulder (and sometimes bodies above bodies in the case of crowd surfing) to completely immerse themselves in their favorite bands or to taste firsthand new music.

Whether it’s a morning show, an opening show or a prestigious affair, music is an expression where spoken words often fail.

When the live action is over, however, we need a way to recapture that adrenaline rush. So we turn to plugging into our surround sound system or for a more intimate experience, our headphones. It allows us the opportunity to feel as if we were right there. From the stage right to our ears, we are granted this incredible insight to dissecting all parts of the song.

As the years have progressed, music has evolved and the desire to seclude ourselves with our preferred bands increases, studies revealed how the prolonged exposure has adverse long-term side effects.

As the invention of MP3s and iPod players annihilated Walkmans, a red flag was thrown in the Otorhinolaryngology medicinal field. It’s so easy to sync your digital device to your music source – Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, Amazon – you never have to unplug. Not even to stop, turn the tape around and hit play.

Headphones: Health Hazard or Sound Solution

This constant access and interaction with music lead to a startling discovering: deafness was occurring at shockingly young ages in shockingly high percentages compared to years prior.

There were (and are) several contributing factors; it’s not always the music itself to take into consideration.

Primarily the duration and decibel are what put your health at risk.

  • How long are you listening to the music?
  • How loud are you listening to your music?

As die-hard enthusiasts of particular genres and artists, we recognize that very specific volumes may do more justice to the song, so adjusting to the recommended 60% of the maximum volume can be hard to adhere to.

We know exposure to any unwarranted or repetitive noise ultimately has some frustrating repercussion. Listen to a high-pitch whistle; we’ll end up with a “phantom” high-pitch whistle in our ears. In this case, however, the more music you listen to at high decibels won’t leave you hearing the music. It will leave you hearing next to nothing. Soon sounds will become muffled; you could hear buzzing, ringing and the NEED to increase the volume on everything will become prevalent.

To better enhance your listening experience and those around you – because while you want to enclose yourself in your personal music escape, others are invited through unintentional eavesdropping. What did you think would happen when you kept increasing the volume? Noise canceling headphones are a great solution for you to experience that individual concert quality without the need to turn it up. With careful selection, the headphone’s technology does it for you with its surround sound… blocking. Block, cancel out any interfering noise and you’ll realize how much your volume contributed to your solo show’s high intensity.

At the end of the day, if your ears have been secluded in earbuds or headphones like they’re ear muffs on the North Pole, you could really be risking your health. But not only does turning down and turning off give you a chance to enjoy the music of conversation or white noise, but it also preserves your hearing – which prolongs your probability to listen to music ten, fifteen, twenty years down the road.

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