Extended periods on earphones unhealthy

PHOTO: Extended periods on earphones unhealthy

Using earphones or headphones to listen to music for a long period may cause hearing problems.

"Listening to music with such devices, at a loud volume for a minimum of five hours continuously and everyday, is a danger to ones hearing," said Prince Court Medical Centre's consultant Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh.

Dr Kuljit said loud music or noise heard over a long period of time would cause the ear drum to constantly vibrate and affect one's hearing.

"It will be better to use headphones instead of earphones as the music will go through the ear lobe and then the canal."

"Using ear-phones will directly impact the ear drum as it is inserted into the ear."

He said hearing loss could be caused by the length or intensity of sound.

However, Dr Kuljit said there was no specific study on groups of patients to significantly prove that continuously listening to loud music could cause loss of hearing.

"But the logical explanation of it, shows that it can be a factor towards hearing loss in the long term."

He said very loud noise from 90 to 110 decibels or anything higher might cause one to become hearing impaired.

Construction workers who were exposed to 90 decibels and gunshots or bomb blast sounds at 110 decibels would affect hearing in stages, said Dr Kuljit.

"There will not be total hearing lost but one would start to miss out on certain words said during conversations," he said.

"There are also those who will lose their hearing for a few hours in a day."

"This is known as transient, a situation where one is exposed to loud sound and permanent hearing lost from very loud noise."

He added that there were hi-tech headphones in the market that were capable of absorbing sound from the environment.

"This could also cause danger to a user as warning noises of danger coming their way would be reduced to a very minimal level and sometimes totally blocked."

Dr Kuljit said that this device could be used when travelling in airplanes but not while walking on the streets.

He advised the public, especially youngsters, to listen to music from speakers and reduce using to earphones or headphones to avoid being a victim of hearing loss