How to make sure your headphone habits don't lead to permanent hearing loss

The World Health Organisation estimates more than 1 billion people aged 12 to 35 are in danger of hearing loss due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and other recreational sounds.

Exposure to loud sounds can cause temporary hearing loss or tinnitus, but prolonged or repeated exposure can lead to permanent hearing damage - resulting in irreversible hearing loss.

While hearing loss due to loud sounds, including through the use of headphones, is permanent, it is also preventable.

You can better protect your hearing by:

  • Using well-fitted and if possible, noise-cancelling earphones or headphones.
  • Taking your headphones off periodically when you don't need them and giving your ears a break.
  • Keeping the volume down: the safe listening level for headphones is between 60-80db - for most headphones that's about half volume.
  • Asking those nearby if they can hear your music and if they can, turn it down - your ears will thank you, and so will theirs.
  • Holding your headphones at arm's length - if you can still hear your music, you're playing it too loud.
  • Getting regular hearing checks.

Specsavers Audiology professionals can be found in many Specsavers stores across the country and offer a range of hearing products and services.

To book a free 15-minute hearing check, visit the Specsavers website.

This article was created in partnership with Specsavers.