Technology its constantly improving. TVs are becoming clearer, cars are more eco friendly and food is grown more efficiently. With so much change occurring, there has to be some technology that can have negative impact the human body. A big health question mark are newly developed noise cancelling head phones such as Beats and Bose. They are bigger, louder and clearer than ever before. Wearing headphones that produce more noise are bound to have negative impacts on a persons hearing. With this thought in mind, I researched more to determine if there was any evidence to actually prove that using headphones can have a negative impact on someones hearing.
This claim is very straight forward; wearing headphones more frequently can have a negative impact on a persons l
ong/ short term hearing. Since it is occurring over time, reverse causation can be ruled out as a possible explanation. Also, it is hard to think of a confounding variable that would cause a person to wear headphones more often, as well as negatively impact their hearing. For these reasons, it is easy to say that direct causation is the most likely explanation behind the claim. This makes it easier to research and determine whether it is true.
A 2016 study posted in the International Tinnitus Journal aimed to find a correlation between teen listening habits and hearing loss. A team studied 131 high school students and asked them questions regarding headphone usage, average volume, and average listening time. The study found that 79% of the population used headphones on a daily basis, with 37% claiming they listen at a high volume. The team also asked them questions related to their hearing ability. What they found was that teens who reported listening to music at
higher volumes with headphones were more likely to report difficulty concentrating, the need to ask people to repeat themselves and various other symptoms relating to degraded hearing. The team concluded that teens in this study were using personal headphones at rates higher than recommended. Of those polled, the team would recommend Hearing Health Promotion Programs for a majority of the population.
Although this study provides some convincing evidence, an article written by two doctors in Health Scope claims that there are enough studies done to determine whether or not headphones can negatively effect a persons health. Despite the lack of studies, the doctors believe that it is more likely than not that headphones effect a persons hearing. The article provides evidence to support their claim. Decibel levels of headphones (around 85 deci
bels) usually cause complications in a person hearing if they are exposed for more than 15 minutes. This level of sound has been shown to numb ears and impact a listeners hearing over a long period of time. Another reason the doctors believe that headphones are harmful is due to the abundance of electromagnetic rays emitted by the speakers. These waves are believed to negatively effect the brain, however there is no solid evidence to prove this.
The study provides evidence to support my original claim that headphones are bad for a persons health. However, it only samples 130 kids of similar age. With such a small sample size, it is hard to claim that this study provides enough evidence to confirm the claim. Although
the authors of the Health Scope article are convinced that headphones are not good for health, they admit that there are not enough studies to prove this. They provide evidence from various experiments done about noise, but none of these studies directly link headphones to hearing loss. Although the general consensus among the science community is that headphones effect hearing, there are no studies that can directly prove this. Despite this lack of evidence, there is enough medical data to convince a reasonable person to turn their music down a little in an attempt to preserve their hearing.