How Headphone Volume Can Damage Your Hearing

How Headphone Volume Can Damage Your Hearing

headphones hearing ear damage santa clarita.jpgEverywhere we go, we see people with headphones on or earbuds in their ears. This popular method for consuming audio media has become standard practice for most Americans because they allow us to conveniently listen to audio without disturbing those near us. However, did you know that, when used improperly, headphones can cause damage to your ears and result in permanent hearing damage? 

Ear Damage Can Impact Any Age Group

Most people think of ear damage in association with advancing age. However, adolescents are increasingly suffering from noise-related hearing damage – about 25% of today's teens, according to statistics, and that's up 30% from where it was in the 80s and 90s. Headphones and earbuds at high volume concentrate the sound directly into the ear canal. Many teens aren't knowledgeable about how the loudness and duration of sound can impact their long-term hearing. 

What is Noise Pollution?

Noise that occurs at unsafe or annoying levels is considered noise pollution. The threshold between safe and unsafe noise is 85 decibels (dB). Any noise below 85 dB is considered safe; any noise above that is considered unsafe. To illustrate, a whisper is generally in the 30 dB range whereas a crying baby registers around 115 dB. Typically, sounds above 140 dB will cause an immediate pain sensation in the ear. Most headphones and earbuds can deliver audio at the decibel level of a rock concert – around 120 dB. Therefore, audiologists recommend listening to personal audio at no more than 60% of its max volume for no more than an hour a day.

Do You Have Noise-Related Hearing Loss?

Headphone and earbud related hearing damage can occur gradually over time and can go unnoticed until it becomes a serious problem. Signs of hearing damage include:

  • Needing to turn the volume up higher than you used to in order to hear clearly.
  • Asking people to repeat themselves frequently because you can't hear them over background noise.
  • A clogged sensation in the ear.
  • Unusual sounds in the ears such as buzzing, roaring, or ringing.

Experienced Audiology Professionals

Noise-related hearing damage is generally irreversible which is why prevention is so important. At Advanced Audiology in Santa Clarita, get the best audiologist help with an advanced hearing evaluation to determine if you are suffering from noise-related hearing loss. Our hearing aid specialists can help with assistive listening devices, hearing aids, preventative aids, tinnitus treatment, and follow-up support for your hearing needs. If you or someone you know frequently uses personal sound systems and/or has experienced hearing difficulties, give the professionals at Advanced Audiology of Santa Clarita a call today!


Nola Aronson’s Advanced Audiology 
23822 Valencia Blvd. #103 
Santa Clarita, CA 91355