Excessive earbuds use can cause hearing loss, allergy, warn experts

- May 18, 2024
| By : Tanisha Mendirata |

As today's youth increasingly rely on earbuds for music, risking hearing loss and infections, medical experts urge mindful use and education to protect auditory health

In the age of ubiquitous technology, especially with smartphones, more people, particularly the youth, are using earbuds extensively to enjoy music on the go. However, experts warn that this prolonged use can lead to hearing loss, allergic reactions, and infections, urging careful use and proper education on safe listening practices.

Whether travelling in a bus, metro or plane, one can find an increasing number of people, especially the youth, spending hours using various portable audio devices, mostly earbuds to enjoy music.

Experts say that continuous and excessive use of earbuds can lead to temporary hearing loss, allergic responses. Moreover, there is no education on how to use them and keep your ears safe.

Patriot got in touch with two doctors Dr Zafarullah Beigh, ENT Specialist and Assistant Professor at Government Medical College (GMC), Baramulla, Jammu and Kashmir and Dr Mamta Gandhi (BHMS, MD) to understand more on this.

“Prolonged use of earbuds could cause temporary hearing loss and if it continues could result in permanent damage to the ears,” Dr Beigh said.

“The combination of the environmental noise and the temptation to increase the volume levels to drown out external distraction poses a significant threat to the delicate structures of the inner ear,” he said.
He said that the risk extends beyond mere volume. “The very materials that make earbuds a marvel of modern engineering can also be their downfall. Nickel, Silicone, and Rubber—ingredients used in the making of the earbuds could lead to allergic responses and skin irritation, transforming our auditory experience into a battleground for our body’s defences,” he said.
He said that there are the silent invaders within the confines of our ear canals- bacteria and moisture, the unwitting accomplices of our faithful companions.

“These common agents create a breeding ground for infections, from the dreaded otitis externa to the menacing cause of fungal invasions. Even the haunting melody of tinnitus, a relentless ringing in the ears, can find its origins in the embrace of our beloved earbuds,” he added.

Dr Mamta recommended use of earbuds maximum for five hours per week amid the shadows of uncertainty.

“It’s crucial to find harmony between the volume we subject our ears to and the duration of our listening sessions. Sacrificing our auditory well-being for the sake of convenience is a risk not worth taking,” she said.

She said that while selecting our audio companions, prioritizing quality is paramount.

“Whether opting for classic over-the-ear headphones or sleek earbuds, investing in well-designed devices can significantly impact our auditory health. Remember, it’s not just about the gadget itself, but how responsibly we use it. Like a skilled conductor guiding a symphony, we must wield our devices with care and consideration,” she said.

She said that when going to embark on your next auditory journey, proceed with caution.

“The allure of convenience may be tempting, but it’s essential not to overlook the potential risks lurking in the shadows. Remember, in the delicate balance between sound and silence lies the harmony of our auditory health,” she added.