Alka Yagnik advises against using earphones after disclosing her diagnosis of hearing loss. Should this concern you as well?

How can individuals safeguard themselves against the heightened risk of hearing loss associated with prolonged earphone use?

Renowned playback singer Alka Yagnik recently disclosed a rare hearing loss disorder triggered by a viral infection. She emphasized caution against exposure to very loud music and headphones in her social media statement.

Alka stated, “I would like to warn against listening to very loud music and using headphones. One day, I hope to discuss the health risks of my professional life.”

According to Dr. Deepti Sinha, lead consultant at the ENT department of CK Birla Hospital, Delhi, prolonged use of earphones, especially at high volumes, can lead to gradual hearing damage. Adopting safe listening practices is crucial for preserving your hearing health.

Listening to music or other audio content at high volumes can harm the hair cells in the inner ear, which are essential for hearing, she explained. “Once these cells are damaged, they do not regenerate, leading to permanent hearing loss.”

Dr. Sanjay Sachdeva, senior ENT consultant at HearClear and Max Hospital, recommended limiting exposure to sounds above 85 dB. “People should take regular breaks when exposed to loud sounds such as music, concerts, or fitness classes,” he emphasized. “This is crucial to allow the ear sufficient time to recover after being exposed to loud noises.”

Both Dr. Sinha and Dr. Sachdeva recommended adhering to the 60/60 rule to minimize exposure to loud noises. Dr. Sachdeva elaborated, “This rule suggests limiting exposure to 60 dB of noise for no more than 60 minutes, followed by a brief period of rest to rejuvenate inner ear health.”

Are you at increased risk of this type of hearing loss?

Dr. Sinha explains that certain individuals are more vulnerable to hearing loss from prolonged earphone use than others. Factors such as genetics, pre-existing hearing conditions, and exposure to occupational noise can heighten susceptibility.

Younger individuals who regularly use earphones at high volumes are particularly at risk due to prolonged exposure, she noted. It’s important for everyone to be aware of their listening habits in order to minimize the risk of hearing damage.

Here are some additional recommendations from Dr. Sinha on how to protect yourself:

Here are additional precautions recommended by Dr. Sinha:

  • Take breaks from continuous headphone usage to prevent overexposure.
  • Steer clear of loudspeakers at events like parties, concerts, and sports events to reduce noise exposure.
  • Avoid flying with a cold to prevent ear barotrauma; consult an ENT specialist if air travel is necessary.
  • Workers in noisy environments, such as factories, should use industry-recommended ear protection to prevent both temporary and permanent hearing loss, and should undergo regular hearing tests.
  • Maintain normal blood pressure and blood sugar levels, as deviations can accelerate hearing loss.
  • Eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, which are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that promote ear health.
  • Refrain from smoking, vaping, using hookahs, consuming alcohol, or using drugs, as these substances can hasten hearing loss.

Leave a comment