Can Headphones Cause Hearing Loss?

Blog Synopsis:

  • According to the American Osteopathic Association, one in five teens today suffers from some degree of hearing loss, which is 30% higher than teens in the ‘80s and ‘90s.
  • Experts speculate this increase in hearing loss is largely due to increased headphone use.
  • In this blog, the physicians at AOC address the frequently asked question, “can headphones cause hearing loss?”

Hearing loss is a serious health concern that, until now, was thought to affect older generations exclusively. Various studies have found otherwise, and according to the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), one in five teens today experiences some level of hearing loss. This is a frightening statistic that should not be taken lightly, especially since there are many ways teens can minimize their risk of hearing damage.

One possible source is being attributed to a device used by millions of people worldwide: headphones. Teens who are constantly “plugged” in and listening to music at high volumes are putting their ears at risk of hearing loss, and they’re putting themselves at risk of speech and language developmental problems. According to the report from the AOA, most music playing devices (I.e. MP3 players, iPods, iPhones, Android devices) can reach a level of 120 decibels, which is similar to being at a concert.

Listening to music at that level for as little as 60 minutes can cause damage to the ears. Over time, prolonged exposure to such high volumes of sound can lead to hearing loss. If you wear headphones frequently and are worried about the effect they may have your ears, try to keep this tip in mind: do not exceed 60% of your volume for more than 60 minutes a day.

Initial symptoms of hearing loss may be minimal, but they can worsen over time. Here are possible signs of hearing loss: 

  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears, like after you’ve attended a rock concert.
  • Difficulty hearing sounds in relatively quiet places.
  • Feeling a plugged sensation within your ears, causing surrounding noises to sound muffled.
  • Having to turn up the volume on your T.V. or radio to maximum levels to improve hearing.

Do not let your symptoms get worse by not seeking treatment. Call AOC today to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT doctors. We will administer a number of examinations to determine the severity of your symptoms, and to establish a clear diagnosis and treatment regimen. Call today! 

Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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