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.”