Is dependency on earbuds causing hearing loss?


Camryn Cutinello

Noise cancelling headphones can help reduce the risk of hearing loss.

Camryn Cutinello, Editor-in-Chief

Picture this, you get to school, you’re ready to walk into the building and start your day. You reach for your headphones, but they’re not there. The panic begins to rise in your chest as you realize the horrible truth, you left your headphones at home. 

It’s like a terrifying story straight from Stephen King, right? Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but you most likely have experienced that feeling. A majority of the “younger generations” are fairly dependent on their headphones. The millennial generation listened to 75.1% more music on a daily basis then the baby boomer generation, according to a study done by Entertainment Retail Association. 

You’ve probably heard the lecture from a parent or grandparent, headphones are ruining your hearing. 48 million Americans experience hearing loss, according to the Hearing Health Foundation, but it’s not caused by headphones. Sure, listening to your music really loud isn’t the best idea and can cause some damage, but according to Time, loud noise exposure is the bigger threat to your hearing. 

Noise pollution is a problem Americans face every day. Whenever you’re out in public you’re experiencing loud noise exposure. Whether it’s social setting, industrial yards, or public transportation, loud noise is everywhere. 

85 decibels and over is the level when something becomes too loud for human ears to handle. Garbage disposals, traffic, lawnmower and hair dryers are examples of everyday objects that are loud and can cause damage if exposed to it for too long. Leaf blowers, fireworks, ambulance sirens, and jackhammers are some examples of objects that can cause serious damage to one’s hearing. 

The individual can do a lot to combat noise pollution. Wearing earbuds, buying noise-canceling headphones and spreading information about noise pollution can be ways to help. Creating laws, such as “no horn zones”, helps combat noise pollution. a more organic way to help is to plant trees is to help reduce noise levels, especially in urban settings. Trees have been proven to decrease the noise level. 

So no, you’re headphones aren’t making you go deaf, but you should still keep the volume at a reasonable level. Also, be more mindful of the places you’re going and the noise that will be there. It might be hard to avoid the loud noise caused by life, but it’s not impossible. In the future, you’ll be grateful.