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Here is how long-term earphone use can infect or damage your ears

Many people use earphones as constant companions while studying, traveling, sweating it out in the gym, or simply avoiding conversations because music makes almost everything bearable.

Earphones are now an unavoidable part of most people’s lives, but blasting music into one’s ears has consequences.

If earphones are worn for an extended period at a high volume, they can cause partial to complete hearing loss, also known as noise-induced hearing loss. The damage from earphones can be permanent because the sound causes the hair cells in the cochlea to bend severely.

According to one study, the use of earphones has resulted in a significant increase in the prevalence of hearing loss among adolescents and young adults.

When sound waves enter the ear, vibrations in the eardrum are transmitted to the inner ear via several small bones to the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid-filled chamber in the ear with thousands of small hairs. Sound vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to vibrate, causing the hairs to move. If the volume is too high, the vibrations will be stronger, causing the hair cells to move more. This causes temporary hearing loss.

It takes time for hair cells to recover from the extreme vibrations caused by loud noise. There are also cases where the cells never recover or become too damaged to function normally. This causes long-term hearing loss. This type of noise-induced hearing loss is nearly impossible to reverse.

Some earphones nowadays provide an excellent audio experience, but with this greatness comes health risks. Earphones are designed so that the user can insert them into the ear canal, blocking the air passage and increasing the risk of ear infections.

Furthermore, when one’s earphones become public property and are used by a large number of people, they have a high risk of transmitting an ear infection. Bacteria from various people’s ears easily travels through these earphones. Earphones nowadays emit electromagnetic waves that can be harmful to the brain. Although there is no medical evidence to support this theory, it is common to find brain-related issues in regular Bluetooth and earphone users.

Music should be listened to through earphones at a maximum volume of 70-80 decibels; otherwise, it can cause hearing loss. Every 30 minutes, try to remove the earphones. If you have a habit of wearing earphones, you can even set reminders on your smartphone. Furthermore, headphones are preferable to earphones because the latter is closer to the eardrum and tends to cause more damage when used for an extended period.

You should be on the lookout for signs of hearing loss at all times. Some symptoms include ringing or buzzing in the ears, difficulty hearing at low volumes, and a need to turn up the volume. If earphone users who listen to music at high decibel levels experience sharp pain in specific areas of their ears, reduce the frequency of use

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Flora Mitumba
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