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Do head phones damage your ears?





ParsaAkbari
My mom who is a doctor says head phones could cause hearing loss in later life?
Have you used head phones and are experiancing hearing loss?
Are you using head phones now?
What do you think?
Ankhanu
They can, certainly, but responsible use of headphones will minimize the chances of hearing loss. Obviously, if you play your music loud, it's going to damage your ears, whether you're using headphones or any other sound source. Listening at reasonable levels will reduce the chances of damage... but most people have the volume high enough on their personal listening devices to be heard several metres away... of course that's going to cause damage.

There are also reports of in-ear earphones causing elevated temperature and humidity conditions within the ear canal, leading to increased bacterial growth, which can have health/hearing effects. This tends to be related to hours of continuous wear, not casual wear, however.

Remember; hearing loss is a cumulative problem. If you're irresponsible with headphones, they'll hurt you, much like anything else in the world. Use a little (un?)common sense and you'll be alright.
Jaan
get good in ear headphones.. they'll cost you around 80-100 but well worth it, you'l hear a big sound quality improvement and noise reduction... im getting in ear monitors soon to guard my hearing in live situations.. but you probably dont need -30dB reduction lol.. i like to splurge Very Happy
mattyj
If your mum is a doctor and telling you this, listen to her, Duh
Blissgene
sounds true....
David_Pardy
The problem with in-ear earphones, and isolation headphones is that there's no real way to measure the sound pressure level between your eardrum and the speaker.

To put things simply, use them at as quiet a volume as possible. This will minimize damage, and if you experience 'hearing fatigue', then have a break from your music for at least 10 minutes.
8166UY
It is very true as we learn here at medicine, but it won't be that much if you turn it a bit down or find a peaceful place where you don't need to put it hard.
funky_programmer
Ankhanu wrote:
They can, certainly, but responsible use of headphones will minimize the chances of hearing loss. Obviously, if you play your music loud, it's going to damage your ears, whether you're using headphones or any other sound source. Listening at reasonable levels will reduce the chances of damage... but most people have the volume high enough on their personal listening devices to be heard several metres away... of course that's going to cause damage.

There are also reports of in-ear earphones causing elevated temperature and humidity conditions within the ear canal, leading to increased bacterial growth, which can have health/hearing effects. This tends to be related to hours of continuous wear, not casual wear, however.

Remember; hearing loss is a cumulative problem. If you're irresponsible with headphones, they'll hurt you, much like anything else in the world. Use a little (un?)common sense and you'll be alright.


Yes, I agree with you..
Here are some sound levels with its corresponding amount of maximum time allowed to hear. (according to EPA)
8 hours = 85 dBA
4 hours = 90 dBA
2 hours = 95 dBA
1 hours = 100 dBA
30 minutes = 105 dBA
15 minutes = 110 dBA

Here we see that each increase of 5 in dBA value, the maximum time allowed to hear is decreased by half.
So, use your headphones responsibly and take a good care of your ears, because they are precious sense-organs.

Sorry for my bad English.
catscratches
Just like knives, headphones won't hurt you. It is the irresponsible use of them that will hurt you.
Jaan
thats the best thign about in ears... they block out much of the outside noise so you don't need to turn it up... Smile
gecko
...even better are those, which eliminates/blocks (!) outdoor noise. With that You can listen to the music at even lower volume.

On the other hand this could be dangerous on the streets....
liljp617
You shouldn't need a doctor to tell you overly loud noises right inside your ear cause risk of hearing damage/loss. It's not exactly a tough subject lol...it works that way with anything, not just headphones.
deanhills
ParsaAkbari wrote:
My mom who is a doctor says head phones could cause hearing loss in later life?
Have you used head phones and are experiancing hearing loss?
Are you using head phones now?
What do you think?


Depends on how you use the head phones. If you use it at high volume, it can damage your eardrums. That is sort of common sense. If you use it normally though, and not all day long, I cannot see it harming your ears. Did she give you good reasons for her diagnosis? I know that some medical people are debating about the affect of electronic devices attached or close to your head, could have a negative affect on your brain cells, but your mom was speaking about hearing loss. So would be interesting to know what her reasons would be. Maybe you should ask her?
Jaan
gecko wrote:
...even better are those, which eliminates/blocks (!) outdoor noise. With that You can listen to the music at even lower volume.

On the other hand this could be dangerous on the streets....

yes, and in ear headphones have the best noise isolation yet! about twice as good as normal headphones... i like to think of them as earplugs with little speakers Wink
Fake
I heard the same thing

But too much of anything is bad anyways
Use it responsibly, and u should be a okay Razz
sondosia
I don't get why some people have such difficulty simply turning down the volume of the music when it feels uncomfortable. These are the people who get hearing loss later. Your brain sends a signal if something's too loud for you. Just don't ignore it.
JinTenshi
Well, sometimes you don't know it's too loud. Last time I used to listen to my music with maximum volume on, I thought it was too soft. Then my mom told me I had it on super loud, so slowly I turned the volume down notch by notch until I could barely hear the music, turn it back up and realized just how loud my music was.

So next time you use headphone/earphone, don't use it for too long, don't switch it on too loud either.
spinout
when the freestyle came it really rained warningreports...

It is no problem as long as U: like it !!
And buy good stuff, like AKG monitor or such. It won't be any probs.
froginabox
Short answer: MAYBE.

Long answer:

It depends on a lot of things. Hearing is a very fragile thing, and can easily be damaged. Ever been to a rock concert and your ears are ringing? Or maybe after cutting the grass or something else loud. Your ears ringing are your body's way of telling you that your hearing is being impacted. Most people don't have too many problems if they wear protection when using heavy machinery and earplugs when going to loud concerts.

The problem with headphones is that the source is so close to the ear. Over-the-ear headphones are a different story, as all but the really nice pairs are semi-open and have some leakage. In-ear headphones usually create much more pressure against the eardrum and are closer, and subsequently have more potential to cause hearing damage.


One of the easiest things you can do to protect your hearing is to set a "max volume level." If you have an iPod, this is actually built in. Essentially, you want to pick up your media player after not having used headphones, turn it to a volume that you think is somewhat loud, and then cap it there. Not going over this maximum level helps ensure that, as you listen, you don't crank it up even further as your ears get used to the volume.
daefommicc
my mom tells me how "the who" guitarist lost his hearing sense... not bcoz of playin drums loudly in front of a 1000w speaker but coz of wearing headphones 4 too long in the studio.

source: my mom, funda of physics by resinck halliday walker... *howl*
ortie10
There is nothing better than cranking up your stereo and hearing the nice lows and highs fill the room. Or even better cranking up two marshall half stacks in stereo while you jam live. I would never use hedphones unless I absolutely have to like that guy from the Who! Wouldn't know about the headphone thing but I've been in a band for many of years and I dont think my hearing is bad. Now what was that that you said? lol
Radar
catscratches wrote:
Just like knives, headphones won't hurt you. It is the irresponsible use of them that will hurt you.


As does almost everything - it's just a tool, we use it as we choose.

I try and stay away from in ear headphones as a general rule - do have other headphones that I use semi-frequently, but yeah. Seeing people with their music up way too loud is enough on it's own to put me off in ears, but there are other reasons as well.

As far as hearing loss generally goes, I think it's that if you walk away from something and your ears are ringing, that's a sign that you have, to some degree, permanently damaged your hearing.
liljp617
daefommicc wrote:
my mom tells me how "the who" guitarist lost his hearing sense... not bcoz of playin drums loudly in front of a 1000w speaker but coz of wearing headphones 4 too long in the studio.

source: my mom, funda of physics by resinck halliday walker... *howl*


Yeah, your mom probably had a deep conversation with Pete Townshend.
8166UY
Phil Collins has also a hearing aid per ear. And it's not just anymore for the concerts to hear himself. Razz
liljp617
I mean, it's not really a secret if you play live shows for 30 years in front of 1000 watt speakers your hearing is going to be effected negatively.
froginabox
Short answer to original question - YES.

Long answer from the audio production major: YES. Excessive volume levels can damage your ears quite easily, in fact. Every time your ears ring, say from being at a big rock concert, that's your body's way of telling you that you've lost a bit of the sensitivity in the range of sound that is ringing. If you play or go to concerts a lot, wear ear plugs! Even the crappy pairs from home improvement stores that cost $20 for a box of a thousand are better than nothing at all. If your complaint is not being able to hear the same, go to your local audiologist and ask about "musicians ear plugs." Cost varies, I paid about $150 for mine - they are custom molded to your ear and use special inserts to reduce the noise by 5, 10, 15, or 20dB on a flat range - this means that you won't get no high end or mid range sounds by putting in the plugs.

Back to headphones - "in ear" headphones (ear buds, like iPod headphones) are the worst, because they create a tight seal to the inner ear. If you use an iPod, check out the "maximum volume" function and use it. Don't turn your music up more as you listen to it, set it and forget it.
amfriendsforever153
if the headphones are low quality or damage or if we listen music constantly for many hours then it should be damage ur ears.
Nutteloos
Getting used to higher volume levels can be dangerous indeed. If you find yourself turning up the volume higher and higher the longer you listen, you're definitely going too loud over time.

Also, it can be surprising how loud you're setting the music when there's a lot of background noise. When listening to music while I'm on the train, I often set my mp3 player to volume level 18 or so (arbitrary). When I get home and it's quiet, I turn it on again at the same level and it's unbearably loud.
carlospro7
headphones can definitely damage your ears if it's too loud, I think around 90 dB is around when you start damage. I may be wrong, but it's been a while since I learned this stuff--Kids--you should listen to your mom, specially if she's a doctor.
Arseniy
Yes, our ears suffer a lot because of a loud music and sounds from over there. But now almost all manufacturers of players, iPods, mobile phones and other things with which you can listen to the music decided to produce them with sound leveling function, so even with the most loud headphones you'll not be able to listen with high volume.
Chaya
I use headphones at night.
mrcool
i thinks if it is in full volume that could break your ear drum slowly....lolz
Nutteloos
Using headphones at night may be a bad idea, if there's music coming out all night. Be very careful about the volume levels you might fall asleep with - scroll up for a few posts about prolonged exposure. The longer you have loud music close to your ears, the more likely you are to suffer damage. Sleeping accounts for a lot of time where you won't even notice the music being loud.
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