Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are headphones bad for your hearing?"
I don?t want to damage my hearing, but I wear headphones and listen to music like 8 hours a day at work. There the kind that go inside your ear. Will this damage my ears? Are the headphones safe to use?
There is nothing about the design of the headphone that matters in terms of danger to your hearing. For example, there is no difference between the type of headphone that fit over your ears and the type of headphones that fit inside your ears. However, all headphones do have the potential to cause damage to the hearing. This occurs if the volume of music is too loud because, over time, this loud volume damages the nerve cells inside the ear that are responsible for registering different sounds. Therefore, if you use headphones, it is very important not to have the volume too loud. As long as you keep the volume low, you should not be at any particular risk of damaging your hearing. If you have any sensation of ringing in your ears or if you feel like your hearing is not as sharp as it used to be, these might be signs of damage to the hearing. If you have these symptoms, you should talk to your primary care doctor. If they detect any signs of hearing damage, they may refer you to an audiologist, who can perform a formal hearing evaluation to determine if there is any hearing loss.
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