Enjoy music without regrets
In-ear headphones are a firm feature of everyday life. While they’re a great way of shutting out the world, you should also bear the risks in mind. Read this health tip to find out how to enjoy your favourite music without regrets.
In-ear headphones are especially popular with commuters who enjoy listening to their favourite song before work or relaxing to a new album in the train on their way home. They fit tight in the ear canal and don’t fall out when you move. But given that in-ear headphones also involve health risks, it’s a good idea to follow certain rules.
Use your common senseOutside sounds can spoil the experience when you’re listening through earbuds, making the music seem quieter and leading you to turn up the volume without even realising it. Because in-ear headphones sit right in your ear, there’s a greater risk of damaging your hearing than with on-ear headphones.
You should beware if you have the feeling the music’s getting less loud. If this happens take a break and let your ears recover. santé24 medical director Silke Schmitt Oggier
Volume levels of around 85 decibels and above – that’s the equivalent of a lawnmower – can cause lasting hearing damage. A lot of audio equipment from the EU is already limited to 85 decibels. If this isn’t the case with your device, use your common sense and keep the volume down. If you hear strange sounds or squealing in your ears it’s a sign you’re straining them. “You should also beware if you have the feeling the music’s getting less loud. If this happens take a break and let your ears recover,” advises santé24 medical director Silke Schmitt Oggier.
Your ears need a breakYour ears need a break from time to time even if the volume’s below 85 decibels. This is because the fine hairs in the auditory canal transport the sound to your brain. If they’re exposed to constant sound they can die off. Even music intended for relaxation can cause the body stress, often accompanied by sleeping problems and weakened immune defences, if it’s too loud and you listen to it for too long. So give your ears a break from time to time to allow them to recover.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that there’s controversy among scientists as to whether the Bluetooth radiation from wireless earphones is harmful. “So far there have been no studies proving a harmful radiation effect,” says Schmitt Oggier.
In the event of further health-related questions, SWICA customers can contact the santé24 telemedicine service free of charge on +41 44 404 86 86. A telemedicine practice licence allows santé24 physicians to provide additional medical services in cases that are suited to a telemedicine approach. SWICA customers can also use the BENECURA medical app to carry out a digital SymptomCheck and receive recommendations about what to do next. During a subsequent phone call with santé24, customers can decide for themselves whether to release their information from SymptomCheck to santé24.