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Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

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Audiologists and otologists frequently recommend using over-the-ear headphones instead of in-ear or ear-bud-style models. Over-the-ear headphones increase the distance between your eardrums and the speakers, lowering the possibility of hearing loss.


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Headphones don’t have to be extremely loud to damage your ears. Experts believe prolonged use of headphones can also harm the ears. Headphones cause ear infections, which can contribute to hearing loss. Ear infections are likely to occur among people who don’t take good care of their headphones. Headphones increase the humidity and temperature inside the ear canals. Headphone ear cushions need to be replaced every two to three months and should be treated regularly with a cleaning agent to avoid accumulation of germs and bacteria. Sharing headphones – another way headphones cause ear infections – is not a good idea because the bacteria from other people’s ears will travel to your own.


The single biggest change you can make to protect your hearing is to turn down the volume on your devices. Limit your use of headphones or use noise-canceling headphones, which block external sound and let you enjoy your music or videos at a lower volume without distraction. You can also protect your ears by reducing your listening time. One good rule of thumb is the “60-60” rule: Don’t listen at any louder than 60 percent of maximum volume for any longer than 60 minutes at a time.

BE CAREFUL WITH HEADPHONES

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

Many people use headphones without knowing the negative health issues the devices can cause. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the use of headphones and ear buds has led to a major increase in the prevalence of hearing loss in adolescents and young adults.


Hearing specialist David A. Schessel, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Division at Stony Brooke Medicine, says, “If you can hear the music your child or teenager is playing through their headphones or earphones, it means the sound is too loud and can lead to permanent hearing loss.”


The amount of hearing loss someone can suffer is related both to the volume, measured in decibels (dB), and the duration of time the person is exposed to the sound. As the volume increases, the safe time of exposure decreases. Sound at 85 dB or below is considered safe. If someone is exposed to sounds greater than 90 dB for an average of eight hours per day without hearing protection, hearing loss will most likely result.


Classic iPod ear buds at 100 percent volume on an iPhone can hit noise levels of 112dB, leading to hearing damage in minutes. The same ear buds at 60 percent volume measure approximate- ly 80 dB, which makes them safe to listen to for several hours. Decibels decrease with distance — the closer you are to the source of a sound, the louder it is.