Hearing Loss From Headphones

5 Foods That Can Prevent Hearing Loss

1. Omega 3 Fats & Vitamin D as Vitamins for Hearing


The high levels of omega 3 fats and Vitamin D generally found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout or sardines, can have highly positive effects on hearing loss. Studies have shown that adults who ate fish twice a week had a 42% lower chance of facing age-related hearing loss than non-fish eaters. The main reason, researchers claim, is that Omega 3 fats strengthen the blood vessels in our ear’s sensory system. Fish is your ear’s friend; stock up on it.

2. Anti-oxidants & Folic Acid as Supplements for Hearing Loss


A regular intake of antioxidants, especially in the form of folic acid commonly found in spinach, asparagus, beans, broccoli, eggs, liver or nuts, can reduce the risk of hearing loss by up to 20%. Antioxidants act as hearing loss supplements by reducing the number of free radicals that swirl through your body, which can otherwise damage the nerve tissue in your inner ears. Heed your mom’s words: eat your veggies!

3. Magnesium as a Hearing Loss Supplement


Magnesium, commonly found in bananas, potatoes, artichokes or broccoli, has been shown to provide additional protection against noise induced hearing loss. Eating a strand of 5 bananas a day doesn’t give you the excuse to crank up that iPod volume though.

4. Zinc as a Vitamin for Hearing Loss


You can increase your inner ear’s resistance to the boon of age related hearing loss by keeping a healthy dose of Zinc. This can be found in dark chocolate or oysters, among many.

5.  Vitamin C, E & Glutathione as Supplements for Hearing


Similar to antioxidants, Vitamin C/E  act as hearing loss supplements that keep free radicals in check and strengthen your overall immune system, thus reducing the risk of ear infections. The source is easy to find: vegetables (e.g. oranges) and fruits (e.g. bell peppers).

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Don’t Share your earbuds anymore!


Let’s talk about a topic which is not related to hearing damage today, but I believe it is really useful to all the friends.

Sharing earbuds is totally not a big deal right? Wrong!

I believe that every one of us has split earbuds in transit with our best friend. Sometimes, if your friends ask you to borrow a pair of earbuds, I think you will lend them to him without hesitation.

However, lots of research point out that people underestimate the harm of sharing earbuds. From sticky ear wax to infectious bacteria, there are many reasons you shouldn’t share your earbuds anymore. Sharing earbuds is not only gross but also harmful to your health.

A 2008 study in India found that among frequent users of earbuds, bacterial growth was significantly higher in the ears and on the earbuds, compared with people who used the devices infrequently. The study, which involved 50 medical students, suggested that earbud sharing could transfer bacteria to another person. Still, Ms. Sturm says, “that study did not look at infections, just the presence of bacteria—which our bodies are covered in.”

Although wax can help people stop dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal, it’s teeming with live bacteria. Everyone’s ear bacteria is unique, so it can completely bring harm to others.

Sharing earbuds also could lead to ear mites. Ear mites are common seen in animals. These tiny mites live on the surface of the skin and are found in the external ear canal. Think about it, your friend has a fluffy dog and sleeps with this little dog every night. If his dog has ear mites and they crawls into your friend’s ear, it is a good chance that he infects you with these mites when you share your earbuds with him.

Bad earphone hygiene can also cause a lot of serious diseases, such as middle ear infections, fungus and swimmer’s ear.

All in all, consider your health, please don’t share earbuds with others anymore.



Hearing check in Australian Hearing


 12 October 2016, this was my first time accepting a hearing check.

Actually, I am a music fan. I always love using headphones to listen to the music when I am writing my assignments or waiting for a bus. Sometimes, I hear buzzing in my ears. I think it is because of overusing headphones. For this reason, I accepted a free hearing check at the city office of Australian Hearing.

Australian Hearing is the nation’s leading hearing specialist and largest provider of Government funded hearing services. They provide free hearing checks at over 490 locations nationwide and the check only takes less than 15 minutes.

Children and young adults up to the age of 26 who are Australian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for government-funded hearing services from Australian Hearing. The publicly funded programs are usually free of charge.

I booked an appointment on their official website. A day after their staff called me and confirmed the appointment with me. The video below will tell you how to book a hearing book.

That day, I arrived at their Sydney city office on time. Their staffs were very kind to help me do the hearing check and answered my questions patiently. In the process of hearing check, I was wearing a pair of headphones and listening to a series of sounds which were at different frequencies. When I listened to the sounds, I need to press a button which I held in my hand. After 10 minutes, I finished the hearing check and they printed the audiometry (results of hearing check) for me.



How to understand your Audiogram?

Classification of Hearing Loss Hearing Threshold
Normal hearing 0 to 20 dB
Mild 21 to 40 dB
Moderate 41 to 55 dB
Moderately-severe 56 to 70 dB
Severe 71 to 90 dB
Profound 91+ dB

My audiometry showed that both of my ears’ hearing were good and in the normal hearing range which was 0 to 20 dB.

By talking with their staffs, I learned that there were very few young people who chose to take the hearing check. Because we think we are still young, we always ignore our hearing health.

If you also want to take a hearing check, please click the link below. 

You also take a hearing test online. All you need are your computer, a pair of headphones and a quiet environment.

Reference list:

76.4% of UNSW students have never taken a hearing check before


According to World Health Organisation (WHO)’s study, researchers found that nearly half people, who aged 12 to 35, were at risk of hearing damage because of loud music, which includes live music concerts or their own personal devices.

Recently, I conducted an online questionnaire survey which aimed to collect data and analyse the headphones using situation of UNSW students. 89 students were surveyed. The following are the results and analysis of this survey.


Only 13.5% of students listen to the music with headphones less than 1 hour per day. In my previous blog, I have indicated that the safe way of using headphones is playing the music at no more than 60 percent of maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day. Please follow the 60/60 rule. 


Not surprisingly, the survey showed that most students think they don’t have hearing loss. The low awareness of hearing loss always exists among young people. However, more than half of all the respondents said that they have noticed the bad influences brought by headphones and wanted to protect their hearing. 


More than a third of the respondents have never taken a hearing check before. We may easy to find our vision loss, but a problem with your hearing can often go undetected. For this reason, hearing check is really significant. Additionally, 74.2% students said that it would be great if UNSW can provide hearing check in our campus. 

Hope this survey results can catch your attention on hearing care.

4 Pros of Using Noise-Cancelling Headphones


I believe that many people use headphones to help them block the noise out and fix their attention when they study or work. Noise-cancelling headphones not only can block most noise but also can reduce the risk of hearing loss. The following are four positive features of noise-cancelling headphones.

1. Noise-Cancelling Headphones Block Most Sounds

You may have been happy to discover that these headphones do block out the majority of external sounds. There still have some limitation to what they block out, and some other issues of comfort to consider, but, generally speaking, noise-cancelling headphones do what they say they will do.

2. Music Volume Does Not Need to Be High

The volume level is usually adjusted by people based on the background noise. You probably will turn up your music when you step into noisy places. The nice thing about noise-cancelling headphones is that much of the external sound is blocked without having to replace it with even louder sounds. This means that the volume level on the music can be turned down to a more enjoyable and comfortable level. For this reason, Noise-cancelling headphones more likely can protect people’s hearing.

3. Lower Music Volumes Provides a Richer Listening Experience

Some music is, indeed, intended to be listened to at a high volume. Most music, however, is much richer and fuller when played at a more natural volume. Noise-cancelling headphones allow users to turn the volume down and hear the intended richness and the variations in the music that disappear when the volume is pushed to the limits.

4. Noise-Canceling Headphones Are Ideal for Studying

Using noise-cancelling headphones helps students to block out the external world and concentrate on what they need to learn. Students who have been in the habit of turning up the volume in order to focus find that they can study even better when their music at lower volumes and when outside distractions are gone. While it is possible to turn the music off and only use the noise-cancelling effects of the headphones, many students find the humming effect that can result from music headphones to be even more distracting.

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Earbuds vs Headphones

Earbuds are more likely to cause noise-included hearing loss than headphones. 

I believe that many people will ask whose sound quality is much better. However, the more important question is which of the two is more likely to hurt your ears.

There are three main factors of causing hearing loss. They are volume, measured in decibels (dB), and the duration of exposure time. Sound at 85 dB or below is considered safe. if you listen to sounds louder than 90 dB for an average of eight hours per day, hearing loss will most likely result. And, as volume increases, the amount of safe time decreases.

“Most MP3 players today can produce sounds up to 120 decibels,” Dr. James E. Foy, DO, an osteopathic pediatrician from Vallejo, California, explained in an article for the American Osteopathic Association. “At that level, hearing loss can occur after only about an hour and 15 minutes.”

For this reason, please follow the 60/60 rule which I have mentioned in my previous blog. You should only play your music at 60 percent of maximum volume for a total of 60 minutes a day.

The main reason of why headphones are better than erabuds is earbuds naturally add about 9 dB of volume because they are closer to the ear canal. Additionally,  earbuds cannot block out as much background noise. Therefore, most people will turn up the music in this situation.

We highly suggest you to choose headphones!

Reference list:

Top 8 tips to help protect your hearing –Part 2


5. Earbuds can be more dangerous than headphones.

We’re not saying that earbuds are dangerous in general, but because they’re closer to your eardrum, you should be aware. “Earbuds can increase the sound intensity reaching your inner ear by as much as nine decibels when compared to over-the-ear headphones,” says Colen. “Earbuds also filter out less outside noise than traditional over-the-ear headphones. Therefore, people have a tendency to increase volume more with earbuds to compete against external sounds, resulting in higher listening volumes and higher risk of long-term hearing damage.”

6.Use Noise Dampening of Cancelling Headphones 

The noise around us can contribute to cause us to change how we listen to an iPod or iPhone. If there’s a lot of noise nearby, it’s likely that we’ll turn up the iPhone’s volume, thus increasing the chances of hearing loss. To cut down on, or eliminate, ambient noise, use noise-deadening or –cancelling headphones. They’re more expensive, but your ears will thank you.

7. Use earplugs when you’re listening to live music

They can reduce average sound levels by between 15 and 35 decibels. They’re widely available at many live music venues and shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment of the music.

8. Stop using cotton swabs in your ears

It’s common for people to use cotton swabs to clean wax out of their ear canal, but this is definitely not advisable. A little bit of wax in your ears is not only normal, but it’s also important. The ears are self-cleaning organs, and wax stops dust and other harmful particles from entering the canal. Plus, inserting anything inside your ear canals risks damaging sensitive organs like your ear drum.

If you have excess wax, you can clean around the canal with a damp towel—gently. You could also use ear wax removal solution over the course of a few nights. This softens the wax so that it will eventually flow out on its own. The best solution is always to seek a professional opinion and care when possible.

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Top 8 tips to help protect your hearing – Part 1


I believe most of us used to use headphones while exercising, or in the workplace to prevent interruptions. We all do it! However, I think you guys have already learned what harm can headphones cause to our hearing from my previous blogs. Don’t stress yet—we can learn the following tips to make listening safe and protect our hearing!

1. Follow the 60/60 rule.

Play your music at no more than 60 percent of maximum volume for no more than 60 minutes a day, says Tahl Colen, an otolaryngologist in New York City. “Loud sounds have potential to cause permanent damage to your inner ears, resulting in potentially permanent hearing loss,” he explains. “The important factors are the volume of the sound and the duration of exposure.”

2. Never listen to music at 85 decibels (dB) or higher.

A decibel is a unit used to measure a level of sound based on human hearing. You may ask how to know what volume is at what decibels. An MP3 player at 70% of its top volume is about 85 decibels (Danielle 2015). Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set guidelines stating that anyone exposed to sounds of 85 dB for eight hours or longer is legally required to be provided with and to wear protection, as this can put you at risk for hearing loss. At 100 dB, just 15 minutes can result in damage.

3. If other people can hear your headphones, turn the music down.

Have you had this experience? When your friend sits beside you, you actually can hear your friend’s music from his headphones. It is a sign to mention that his music is too loud. Don’t be embarrassed to remind him of turning down his music. Turn the volume down until other people can no longer hear it.

4. Don’t shove your earbuds in too far.

If you find your buds aren’t staying in, pushing them hard into your ears is not a correct way to fix this problem. Earbuds are designed to go a safe distance into the ear canal. “If you push the earbuds too far, you can damage the skin of the ear canal and potentially be at risk to develop an outer ear infection,” says Golla. “If pushed much further, you could potentially rupture the eardrum.”


Is hearing loss reversible? No!

How Headphones Damage the Ears?

Believe it or not, headphones can damage your hearing in the same way that things like chainsaws and motorcycles can (Danielle 2015). Chainsaws and motorcycle engines create about 100 decibels of sound. That much sound can start to damage a person’s ears after less than half an hour. An MP3 player at 70% of its top volume is about 85 decibels. Sounds at 85 dB or below is considered safe.

How Does Noise Cause Hearing Loss?


The ear is made up of three parts that work together to process sounds: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Part of the inner ear called the cochlea contains tiny hair cells. These hair cells help send sound messages to the brain. But loud noise can damage the hair cells. When this happens, the cochlea can’t relay sound messages to the brain as well.

The number of our hair cells is fixed with our birth. The hair cells in each ear are about twelve to fifteen thousand. These hair cells don’t have cell regeneration ability. In the process of growth,  if you lose a hair cell because of noise, the number of hair cells will reduce by one. In other words, turning the volume up and listening for long periods of time can put you in real danger of permanent hearing loss.


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