The world around us is changing, and technology is a big part of that. Technology can help connect us with loved ones and meet new people from around the world. But when used incorrectly, it can have negative outcomes, such as damaging your hearing.
Hearing Loss from Noise
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB). Anything measuring over 85 dB can cause permanent damage to the tiny hairs within the inner ear responsibly for translating soundwaves into electrical impulses. These signals are sent via the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Once these hair cells are damaged, they cannot grow back.
This type of hearing loss is often experienced by younger people. The World Health Organization estimates that a billion people across the globe are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices. Teenagers and young adults are most at risk. Nearly 50 percent of those between the ages of 12 to 35 are exposed to unsafe sounds from use of personal audio players. And about 40 percent of them are exposed to dangerous sound levels at clubs and bars.
Technology at Work
Workplaces around the world are not what they once were. Instead of meetings over coffee and in-person performance reviews, we now have video calls and online trainings. Many of these virtual meetings are outside of your control, meaning you cannot adjust or turn down the volume.
Technology and Music
One of the most common causes of noise induced hearing loss has to do with headphone usage. Many listen to music through in-ear style headphones in order to drown out outside noise. In order to do so, music must be turned up to an unsafe volume.
In addition to listening to music, almost anything can be played on your smartphone or other electronic device and streamed through your headphones. TV, movies, podcasts, videos on social media and even YouTube can be broadcasted straight into your ears. Many of these platforms do not have a built-in standard of volume, meaning you can easily exceed the 85 dB safety zone.
Protect Your Hearing
The best way to protect your hearing is to follow the 60/60 rule. This rules states that you should listen to music for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at 60 percent of your device’s maximum volume.
To learn more about protecting your hearing or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact The Audiology Offices today.