An urban legend says that, when your ears ring, that means you will never hear that frequency again. This urban legend is just that- an urban legend.
What that urban legend refers to is a common condition called tinnitus. Health professionals often refer to the dangers of wearing headphones and list “tinnitus” as one of the possible results. With the current popularity of iPods, this has become a popular topic. But how dangerous is tinnitus, really?
Tinnitus (more commonly known as “ringing in the ears”) is a common condition caused by ear damage. It can be caused by noise but also by infection or congestion.
But tinnitus can have long term effects on the ear. To minimize the damage, it is best to not turn your iPod up to its full volume. It is tempting to do so when in a loud environment – ie when riding public transport or when walking through a crowd – but limiting this practice will also reduce your chances of developing tinnitus.
The sound in your headphones may seem soft in comparison to your environment, but it effects your hearing in the same way. Think of how loud your headphones sound when you turn them up to full volume in a small, enclosed and quiet space. Your headphones have the same effect on your ears when you are in a large, open, and loud space.
So, if you frequently use headphones, whether it is for work or leisure, try to pay attention to how your ears react. If you feel pain in your ear followed by ringing later on, you may be able to solve the problem by simply turning down the volume.