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How our headphone habits have an effect on our listening to : NPR


The World Well being Group says greater than 1 billion teenagers and younger adults are prone to everlasting listening to loss attributable to “unsafe listening practices.” Is it time to vary our headphone habits?



MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

OK. Sorry prematurely, however are you prepared for at this time’s alarming well being statistic? In keeping with the World Well being Group, greater than 1 billion teenagers and younger adults aged 12 to 35 are prone to everlasting, avoidable listening to loss attributable to, quote-unquote, “unsafe listening practices.” Why is that this taking place? Properly, one purpose – headphones and earbuds. NPR host Manoush Zomorodi has been speaking about how our headphone habits are affecting our listening to on the most recent episode of Physique Electrical, and he or she’s right here with us now to inform us extra about it. Good morning, Manoush.

MANOUSH ZOMORODI, BYLINE: Good morning, Michel.

MARTIN: So what does the W.H.O. imply by unsafe listening practices?

ZOMORODI: Yeah. So a part of the issue is spending time in noisy locations. But additionally, as you talked about, we’ve got a rising headphone behavior. Final 12 months, customers purchased twice the variety of headphones than they did a decade earlier than. That was over half a billion pairs. These gadgets are built-in into our lives like by no means earlier than. So we requested listeners about how they hear today. I need to play you clips from Aaron Kalasher-Coggins (ph), Diego Rojas (ph), and Megan Monteleone (ph).

AARON KALASHER-COGGINS: I do type of have an habit, actually, to simply listening to one thing – being bombarded with noise.

DIEGO ROJAS: I put on my noise canceling headphones listening to music at the least eight hours a day.

MEGAN MONTELEONE: I’ve them up so loud, like, louder than something round me in my environment.

MARTIN: Manoush, I’ve to say, it’s putting how many individuals appear to be carrying headphones on a regular basis. What are the well being dangers that you just’re serious about proper now? Is it simply that individuals are holding the quantity up too excessive?

ZOMORODI: Properly, that is been the query, really. So I have been speaking to the College of Michigan’s Rick Neitzel. So Rick is an publicity scientist, and he and his crew are within the midst of a first-of-its-kind research with Apple. Proper now, they’ve over 180,000 volunteers throughout the nation who’re sharing their cellphone and watch information and taking distant listening to assessments, and the aim is to determine precisely how our tech habits are altering. Individuals are listening longer, however are they listening louder? What concerning the noise of their setting? Does it matter what we’re listening to? This is Rick Neitzel.

RICK NEITZEL: Most of that proof says it is not particularly what you are listening to however merely the depth or the quantity that you just’re listening and for the way lengthy you are listening that drives any danger.

ZOMORODI: So taking a look at all these elements mixed, when does listening flip into listening to loss? Rick says one out of three contributors are uncovered to noise ranges that the W.H.O. considers dangerous. And naturally, after we’re in loud environments, what will we do? We crank the quantity on no matter we’re listening to.

MARTIN: Wow. OK, so apart from turning it off, Manoush, and simply sitting in a quiet room, what can we do?

ZOMORODI: There’s excellent news right here, Michel. There are three straightforward issues we will do proper now. To start with, restrict how loud you possibly can hear. Dig into your cellphone settings. Select the bottom most quantity, ideally 70dB. Second, contemplate how lengthy you hear. Your ears want time to get better, so in the event you hear so much, be sure to get some quiet time afterwards. And third, when you’ve got it, use the noise canceling function when you find yourself in a loud place. Clearly although, in the event you’re in a excessive site visitors space, be secure. Transparency mode protects your ears, too.

MARTIN: That’s Manoush Zomorodi, the host of Physique Electrical and TED Radio Hour. You may get a full listing of suggestions and take heed to the episode at npr.org/bodyelectric. I also needs to point out that Apple is a monetary supporter of NPR, however, after all, we cowl them as we do some other firm. Thanks, Manoush.

ZOMORODI: Thanks, Michel.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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