Your ears are the gateway to the sounds that surround you. The voices of loved ones, snow crunching between your feet, birds singing, and vehicles of all sizes screaming by, honking in support of striking teachers.
But sometimes you just want to shut it all out so you strap on a pair of headphones to listen to your favorite song.
Headphones are great. They can transport you from reality and block out distractions. They can supply an enjoyable soundtrack when you’re out for a walk or doing yoga, or provide a little push through a jog or workout.
But how loud you listen can have major health implications. Aside from putting your ears at risk, the potentially damaging effects of loud volumes can also impact memory.
Hearing loss is not only frustrating, but it’s associated with lost brain tissue and Alzheimer’s.
When ears become damaged, it is more difficult to hear. You have to concentrate more to listen and your brain has to work much harder to process what you’re hearing. If you can’t understand the information, storing it in your memory is nearly impossible.
So, how do you know if you’re listening to music too loud through your headphones or earbuds?
An easy way is to set the volume where you would normally listen, then take them off and hold them in front of you at arm’s length. If you can hear the music clearly, turn it down and try again. Once you can’t hear it, you should be okay.
It’s also a good idea to give your ears a break from the devices. If you’re wearing them for hours at a time, take them off once in a while to let your ears rest.
Taking care of your ears is about much more than hearing—it can affect your memory and mind. Listening to headphones at a moderate level is one way of preserving ear health that can serve your mental health in the future.