According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of headphones and earbuds has led to a major increase in the prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents and young adults.
How to avoid hearing damage from headphones
Avoiding headphone-induced hearing damage isn’t too hard. It simply requires most people to break some habits with their headphone use.
Turn down the volume
The single biggest change you can make to protect your hearing is to turn down the volume on your devices. Noise-induced hearing loss is caused primarily by exposure to very loud noise. Limiting your exposure can protect your ears.
Use noise-canceling headphones
Most people listen to headphones at a high volume to “drown out” other sounds. One good way to lower the volume on your devices and protect your ears is to use noise-canceling headphones. These headphones block out external sound, letting you enjoy your music or videos at a lower volume without distraction.
Use over-the-ear models
As we mentioned above, audiologists and otologists frequently recommend using over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear or earbud-style models. Over-the-ear headphones increase the distance between your eardrums and the speakers, lowering the chance for hearing loss.
Limit your exposure
Along with turning down the volume, you can also protect your ears by reducing your listening time. One good rule of thumb is the “60-60 rule”: Don’t listen at any louder than 60% of max volume for any longer than 60 minutes at a time.