The habit of listening to loud music on earphones is leading the youth towards deafness, when the patients, who believe that they are suffering from normal ear pain visit the hospital, get to know that they are falling prey to high-frequency hearing loss. If we look at the case of the ENT department of Bangad Hospital, situated in Rajasthan’s Pali, we see that in its OPD with a capacity of 120, 72 patients with ear-related problems are visiting daily.
Out of whom, 17-22% are those who use earphones a lot. And the matter of concern is that 5%, that is 3 of the patients have reached the stage of deafness. As per the ENT expert, the patients visit the hospital when they start facing problems with their hearing ability, who are mostly children and youths. The electro-magnetic waves coming out of the loud sounds of the earphones affect our brain, following which the hair cells start getting damaged prematurely.
As per Senior ENT Specialist, Dr AN Yogi, the ear is made up of three parts- the outer ear, middle ear, and the inner ear. After hitting the tectorial membrane, the sound travels to the inner ear, where, there are hair-like structures called the hair cells, which take the sound to the brain. Loud sounds for long periods of time permanently damage the hair cells, and if the sound is louder than 85 decibels, it becomes the reason of deafness.
A five-minute break after half an hour and a ten-minute break after each our is necessary to avoid the same. Sharing somebody else’s earphones leads to cross-infection. Earphones also lead to problems like heaviness in ears, hearing less, and dizziness. The ear wax increases. Earphones are fixed by rotating them, which puts pressure on the ears, and the wax gets pushed deeper.
It has been known that headphones are a better option than earphones because the sound enters the eardrum with lesser force, the pressure on both sides of the eardrum remains equal, which reduces the threat of hair-cell damage, and because the loudness of the sound decreases.