Technology is moving ahead day by day, leaving us all trapped in luxuries and comfort with hidden bad effects on Health. Headphones and Earphones are one such technology that is being used by the youth of today without knowing the health issues associated. I know this is today’s trend to use earphones and headphones, but do you know the hidden health issues that come with this small gadget? The side effects of using headphones and earphones are rising by the day.
You will find people using headphones and earphones everywhere, be it metro’s, train, bus and even if they are walking. Not just are you playing with your health, but also with others.
The use of headsets has become pervasive in the business world. However, some potentially detrimental health consequences can emerge from using headsets, especially if they are not used and maintained in the optimal manner. This is not meant as a discouragement of their use, as long as a few simple precautions are taken, headsets can be used and their benefits taken advantage of without exposing anyone to the possible harmful effects of their use.
Negative effects of earphones/headphones
1. Hearing Loss
Anytime a speaker projects sound directly into your ear, there is the potential for hearing damage. The UCLA Ergonomics Division states that the volume of a user’s headset is the largest factor in whether or not there is a risk of hearing loss. It suggests that the volume on the headset be kept low enough that someone sitting next to the user cannot overhear the conversation. It is also recommended that users of headsets take breaks of a few minutes every half hour to prevent fatigue of the auditory system.
2. Source of Germs
The telephone or the headset that accompanies it can be one of the most prolific breeding grounds for germs in your office. University of Arizona Professor of Microbiology Charles Gerba did studies on the various places where germs congregate in the work environment and found phones and headsets to be far more germ-infested than more obvious culprits such as toilet seats. Headsets should be cleaned regularly with a disinfecting product to help reduce the buildup of disease causing germs.
3. Vocal Strain
Improper use of a headset can cause vocal strain, especially if the person using the headset is talking throughout most of their work day. If the headset has an adjustable microphone, make sure it is positioned so that it picks up a clear signal from your voice without requiring strain to speak. Speaking in a quiet, relaxed manner throughout the day helps to prevent vocal injuries. If the headset is only an earpiece with an attached mic, ensure that the input level is turned up high enough that you don’t need to strain your voice.
Questions have been raised by many groups regarding the radiation that you could be exposed to when using a Bluetooth headset. In actuality, the amount of radiation emitted from these devices is well under the threshold of what is considered harmful. While studies have still not conclusively shown that even cell phone radiation is harmful, a Bluetooth headset actually reduces the radiation that you are exposed to compared to holding your phone up to your ear. Any radiation in excess of a 1.6 watt per kilogram absorption rate is considered to be unhealthy. Standard Bluetooth headsets only emit enough radiation to be absorbed at a rate of around .001 watts per kilogram.
5. Life threatening accidents.
Recently, there has been an increase in the number of accidents involving people using earphones or headphones. Car accidents, road accidents and even train accidents involving people using headphones or earphones have increased with an alarming rate. Users cannot hear the honks and thus become victims of some unfortunate accidents.
Many a time, in order to save the lives of people using headphones or earphones, there could be collateraldamage.