Remote work: hearing damages due to excessive use of headphones

Last update on Oct, 19, 2021

In recent times we have introduced a new way of working into our daily lives: the so-called remote work, i.e. the possibility of working from home. We will see in this article what are the opportunities, but also the risks to hearing caused by remote work and we will understand together how to protect our hearing system from problems that could arise from the harmful use of headphones and earphones.

Remote work: opportunities and risks for the hearing system

The sudden and unexpected onset of the Coronavirus forced us to deal with a new way of life to which we are all getting used to. Parents and children are forced to share the home to carry out all the activities that were previously followed outside the home: the older ones are struggling with remote work, while the little ones try their hand at all the difficulties of distance learning.

In order for this forced coexistence to take place in the best possible way, it is inevitable that all family members equip themselves with headphones and earphones to follow lessons, make and receive business calls or simply chat with friends and relatives. However, not everyone knows that the use of headphones can cause hearing loss, if prolonged over time. Let's see why.

Why can working from home be risky for your hearing?

When the noise becomes excessive, we expose our ears to the risk of gradual hearing loss which, as we know, is irreversible. This can happen due to noise in factories, due to noise pollution, but also if we listen to the sounds coming from the headphones at high volume. The time when we used headphones only to listen to music is over: in times of remote work we are all exposed in a much more massive way to loud noises coming from earphones and headphones, because these objects are the only way we have available to being able to share spaces at home, each carrying out their own activities.

According to experts, the hearing risks caused by too loud noises depend on two factors: the duration of exposure to sound and the intensity of the noise. If the exposure to sound is prolonged, its intensity does not need to be very strong: 80 dB a day without interruptions is enough to cause serious damage to hearing. This is why the risks associated with the excessive use of headphones and earphones should not be underestimated.

In addition, the earphones can cause ear infections, due to germs and bacteria that settle on these objects and can be transferred inside the ear canal. An additional risk deriving from their use, but which can be avoided with proper cleaning of these tools.

How to avoid hearing damage caused by remote work

We have already explained the need to use headphones and earphones when working or studying at home, in order to be able to share common spaces without disturbing other family members. So how to prevent hearing damage? A few small tricks are enough to continue to use headphones and earphones in complete safety. Here are some tips:

  • Set the volume of the computer, tablet or smartphone to 60% and provide a break of a quarter of an hour for each hour of listening;
  • Disinfect the earphones every day after use, so as to avoid the proliferation of germs and bacteria;
  • Do a hearing check if you experience some symptoms of hearing loss, such as difficulty listening to dialogue and hearing doorbells and alarms.

Hearing loss is an irreversible process and must always be prevented, whenever possible. However, if your hearing abilities are already compromised, you can still hear well again thanks to the use of the latest generation of hearing aids, invisible, discreet and very efficient.

Amplifon online hearing test

Prolonged use of earphones and headphones can put your hearing health at risk. If you have recently started noticing some difficulty hearing well, try our free online hearing test now.

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