The Truth About Headphones

AirPods, Beats and other headphones are popular accessories - but, are they harming our hearing?

Cruising through your favorite songs while you get through a morning jog or tuning into a podcast during your evening commute, headphones are often used to block out the distractions roaming throughout our lives, has it ever occurred to anyone that headphones are more damaging then they seem?

Headphones were created in 1919 by Nathaniel Baldwin and have evolved from a very simple gadget to a high tech device. In 2001, Apple released the iPod that came with a portable set of white headphones. Headphones have become very popular since then. With the creation of the Apple Airpods in 2016, these brand new cordless headphones have changed the phase of the earth by changing people’s perspectives on what lays ahead in the future.

Most headphones have been able to fit comfortably in one’s ears, this is a factor as to why the new airpods have had so much success. But the comfort and noise cancellation can actually be more damaging then one thinks.

No one ever thought that headphones could deliver an electric shock, while in use. According to Teen Vogue magazine, 16-year-old Mohd Aidi Azzhar Zahrin died after using his headphones while his phone was charging. An autopsy was performed, it resulted that Zahrin died from electrocution. Zahrin is one of four teens who have allegedly died from electrical shock caused by headphones.

Headphones electrocuting individuals is just one problem, the noise cancelling feature has become a distraction to young children at a young age as well. Reported from ABC Action News reports 11-year-old Yazmin White died on January 5, 2018 while walking on train tracks on her way home. White did not hear the train creeping behind her due to the high tech, noise cancelling headphones.
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White was an amazing pianist and dedicated to her work as a student and musician. Suddenly, one afternoon, while wearing noise cancelling headphones and paying attention to her phone, it cost her her life. According to state police, the conductor of the train had honked multiple times to warn White, but the train running at 68 mph was unable to stop in time to save White’s life.

According to researchers at Live Science Organization who have collected data from 2004 to 2011, there has been a rapid increase in death due to headphones. One hundred six teen vehicle accidents in the United States are caused by pedestrians wearing headphones. There was an increase in casualties from 16 during 2004 to 2005, to 47 deaths from 2010 to 2011.  Researchers continued gathering information on this shocking topic and realized that two-thirds of the deaths are from males below age 30.

Headphones do not only put oneself at risk, but also cause a large amount of damage to the inside of one’s ear. When headphones are placed in the ear canal, it puts the audio signal in ones inner ear equivalent to nine decibels. The higher the decibels, the more damage it causes to ones ear. If the headphones don’t create a tight seal, background noise seeps into the ear raising the volume that one’s ear can’t handle. This is why headphones have developed into cancelling surrounding noise in order to not damage one’s eardrum.

Headphones can cause a serious amount of problems, from decreasing your ability to hear to cancelling out the noise of your surroundings. It may be decreasing one’s temptation from distraction when needing to get work done, but it is a negative factor to one’s health in regards to the amount of damage headphones can cause in one’s ear. So the next time you’re about to pop in your brand new airpods think about the danger you are putting yourself in.

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