Ear buds are small round headphones worn inside the ear. One of the main causes of tinnitus is hearing loss. One of the main causes of hearing loss is excessive exposure to loud noise. The loud noise can be in the form of industrial machinery, a sudden loud noise like an explosion or from music. The louder the noise and the longer the time you are exposed for increases the likelihood of damage.
Many noise related hearing problems are caused because of over exposure to music comes from loud concerts. Listening to music with ear buds is unlikely to be detrimental if the music is at a reasonable level. Listening to music through headphones, ear buds or speakers at an excessive level can cause hearing loss and subsequent tinnitus. Because hearing damage is a leading cause of tinnitus we can say that listening to music at excessive levels with ear buds can cause tinnitus. Tinnitus Hearing Solutions would recommend listening to music at safe levels under any circumstances with any music device.
If you already have tinnitus your central auditory system’s filtering system is not functioning, as it should. Listening to music at high volumes in close proximity to your ears can make this worse temporarily or permanently.
Listening to music can give you a break from your tinnitus and help you mask it especially in the early stage of diagnosis. Therefore listening to music from afar is more recommended. If you do need to mask your tinnitus this can be achieved more effectively by way of a tinnitus masker.
Most reputable MP3 players will have clearly defined volume settings so you will know at what level you are listening to music. They will also warn you by way of a notification or red colour bars. If you feel that you have to listen to music through headphones or earbuds it is sensible to follow these safety tips.
- Listen to music in small doses.
- Listen to music at a reasonable volume
- Try not to turn up the volume whilst on a train or to drown out background noise
- Use your masker instead
- Take regular breaks
- Use old fashioned headphones
Take breaks because when we listen to music for long periods we get used to the noise level however loud it gets. This encourages us to turn the volume up higher and can increased the risk of hearing damage. If you use old fashioned headphones you will be able to keep the noise level lower because they are better than ear-buds at blocking out background noise.
If you are exposed to loud noise at work on a regular basis please take precautions.
- Use earplugs
- Use earmuffs
- Avoid exposing yourself to excessive noise in the first place
If you work in construction, it is likely that you are exposed to loud noise and dusty conditions on a regular basis. Dust can affect the ears, nose and throat because they are all connected. Consider wearing a mask as well as hearing protection.