ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Health Fusion: Think about playing it safe before playing it loud

How much time do you spend listening to something with a headset or earbuds? And how loud is the volume? In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams shares listening safety tips to help you avoid noise damage.

We are part of The Trust Project.

Between video conference meetings, watching videos and listening to tunes, people spend a lot of time using headphones and earbuds. Does all of that listening put your hearing at risk? Dr. Karin Ross , an Olmsted Medical Center audiologist, says she's seeing more teenagers with hearing loss that's likely due to cranking up the volume on listening devices. Her recommendation is for everyone to pay attention to volume.

"We have the ability to turn the volume up pretty loud on most devices," says Ross.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website notes that 120 decibels is what you'd hear standing next to a blaring siren and it's enough to cause ear injury and pain. Ross said her kid's smartphone can put out 130 decibels at top volume, which is as loud as some military jets at takeoff.

"Turning down that volume to about half way, cuts that sound in half," says Ross. "So you're looking at about 65 decibels, which is plenty loud and causing no damage to your ears."

How does loud sound hurt your hearing? Ross says your inner ear, the cochlea, is shaped like a snail and contains hair-like cilia and fluid. Sound enters in the inner ear in waves. If the sound is really loud, the waves are strong and can bend or break the cilia, damaging hearing temporarily or permanently.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ross has tips for keeping your hearing safe.

  • If others can hear what you're listening to, it's too loud.
  • Keep volume bar to half with earbuds and three-quarters max with a headset.
  • Wear ear protection if you're using power tools, such as drills and lawn mowers.
  • Wear ear plugs at concerts and race tracks.
  • Wear ear protection while driving a tractor or doing factory work.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

ADVERTISEMENT

Health-Fusion-logo.jpg

What to read next
Ticks can survive a Minnesota winter, but their go time is March through October. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams goes in-depth with a tick expert who helped discover two pathogens that ticks can carry. And both of them can make you sick.
Sound and electrical stimulation may offer hope for people suffering from chronic pain and other conditions. Researchers are exploring the combination with the goal of developing treatments that are safer and more accessible than opioid medication. Viv Williams has details of a new study in this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion."
When those first baby teeth appear, it's time to start teaching little ones about good dental health. In this episode of NewsMD's "Health Fusion," Viv Williams consults a pediatric dentist about when kids should have their first dental appointment and she shares tips on brushing.
Long road trips provide ample time for both reflection and rumination — the good and the bad of hours and hours spent behind the wheel. In this Health Fusion column, Viv Williams shares stories of a recent drive to Colorado and how a pit stop at a botanical garden's butterfly house made a faulty air conditioner tolerable and brought meaning to the buzz word "mindfulness."