Are earphones good for prolonged use? One of the most commonly asked questions is one that is of immense importance as it affects your hearing ability. Addressing the same, ENT specialist Dr Rachna Mehta mentioned that when asked to choose between earphones that are worn inside the ears and headphones that are worn on the ears, the obvious choice would be headphones. Earphones directly affect the ear canal, said Dr Mehta in an informative post on Instagram.
According to Dr Mehta, when earphones are inserted inside the ear canal, it can push the earwax deeper inside the ear which can cause more blockage. Secondly, Dr Mehta stressed that since it directly affects our ear drum, any increase in the volume can cause long-term damage. “Additionally, since earphones tend to block the ears completely, it traps moisture which increases the chances of infection,” said Dr Mehta.
Dr Amol Patil, senior consultant, ENT and Spine Surgery Unit, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai too, mentioned that consistent and prolonged use of earphones, especially at high volumes has been causing an increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). “Moreover, in urban cities, the ambient noise levels are already above recommended WHO limits, which worsen hearing capabilities with the fixation for using earphones for extended periods,” said Dr Patil.
So, what is advisable? If you occasionally use earphones for a short duration, then it is alright. But if you use earphones for long hours for meetings, lectures, or music, then headphones are better,” said Dr Mehta.
Concurred Dr Patil and said that it is advisable for youngsters to limit exposure to high volumes or maintain volume below 60 per cent of the maximum and use noise-cancelling options if possible. “Best is to undergo routine auditory health checks for early detection and intervention,” said Dr Patil.