Can Earbuds Lead to Hearing Loss? Doctor of Audiology Melissa Segev Answers

Can Earbuds Lead to Hearing Loss? Doctor of Audiology Melissa Segev Answers

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Hearing Loss, Industry News, News, Patient Resources

More and more people are wearing earbuds like the popular Apple Airpods. And many people wear them nearly all day long. So what’s the impact on your hearing? Are earbuds safe?  

Our very own co-owner and Doctor of Audiology Melissa Segev recently joined CBS News Baltimore to answer this question. Be sure to check out the feature. In the meantime, we’ve summed up Dr. Segev’s segment. 

What Are Earbuds?

Earbuds are tiny yet powerful headphones that are worn inside your ear. For some people, they’ve become an extension of their ears.

Fans of the small in-ear headphones commonly wear them to talk on the phone, to listen to music and podcasts, and while they’re at the gym or the grocery store. Some people even wear them all day at work. After all, their small size makes them convenient to take with you anywhere.

And despite their small size, earbuds pack a punch when it comes to volume. In fact, most max out at 115dB. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to noises over 75dB can be damaging to your hearing.

If you continually have your earbuds blasting music at max volume, you’re definitely putting yourself at risk of hearing damage. 

How Safe Are Earbuds?

According to Dr. Segev, it’s likely not a coincidence that we’re seeing hearing loss in younger patients as earbuds rise in popularity. There’s a direct correlation between the rise in popularity of earbuds and the number of younger patients who are coming into the Audiology Associates Incorporated clinic. 

People often underestimate the volume they’re setting on their earbuds, and this is where the trouble lies. Continued exposure to sound that’s played directly into your ears can be damaging to your hearing over time. 

Dr. Segev also notes that she’s seen cases where the earbud tip actually becomes stuck in a person’s ear. You should be careful when taking earbuds in and out of your ears. There is typically a removable rubber or plastic tip on your earbuds, and you don’t want it coming off and getting lodged in your ear canal. 

Now, there are earbuds on the market that actually offer technology for people who are suffering from hearing loss. These devices offer Bluetooth capability that allows you to pair them with your smartphone and amplify sounds.

If this is something you’re interested in, chat with your audiologist about your options.  

Protecting Your Hearing When Using Earbuds

Dr. Segev notes that while it may be nearly impossible to quit using earbuds altogether, limiting their use is a good place to start. Consider the potential negative effects to your hearing health before you turn up the volume on your earbuds.

And the next time you’re about to pop them in your ears to go on a walk, try taking in the sounds around you instead. You might be surprised by what you’ve been missing! 

Remember, once you damage your hearing, it’s permanent. There’s no going back, and although there are many effective ways to treat hearing loss, prevention is the best option. 

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Here at Audiology Associates Incorporated, our Doctors of Audiology provide the state’s highest level of advanced audiological care. You can rest assured knowing that our team will provide you with the best customized care for your specific level of hearing loss. 

If you’d like to schedule a comprehensive hearing assessment, or if you have any questions that you think we may be able to answer, you can give us a call at (410) 944-3100 or request a callback. 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Dr. Melissa Segev Au.D, F.A.A.A.

Dr. Segev, co-owner of Audiology Associates, proudly represents the values of excellent patient care upon which her practice was established in 1977. She understands that to properly treat the patient, excellent state-of-the-art medical testing is required along with acute listening and understanding of the patient’s perceptions of how they are feeling and what their needs might be.

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