Today, there are different modern gadgets made available by fast-moving technology. One of these gadgets is the wireless Bluetooth earbuds, and they are known to be one of the finest. A lot of people have one or two pairs they use in listening to music anywhere they are. But do you know that even though wireless earbuds have engaged our lives to a new level completely, there has been a debate that earbuds can be dangerous to our health?
Ringing ears, also called tinnitus, is one of the health issues believed to result from the use of Bluetooth earbuds. But is it true? Can earbuds cause ringing ears? Read on as this article put you on the right path to finding the perfect answer to your question.
What Is Ringing Ears?
As mentioned earlier, ringing ears can also be called tinnitus. It is a buzzing, roaring, ringing, whistling, or hissing of the ears that you can only perceive in your ears. The symptoms of tinnitus can vary from one person to another, and I don’t know if your doctor has already told you that ringing ears have no cure. However, it can be managed. There are different therapies and techniques hearing care professional utilizes to help an individual with ringing ears alleviate the condition. So what causes ringing ears?
What Causes Ringing Ears?
There are a lot of possible causes of ringing ears, and these are:
- Excess ear wax – when there is too much of wax in the ear it can block the ear canal and result in the ringing of your ears. So if you think ear wax is something simple, now you know how dangerous it can be.
- Changes in the flow of blood – anemia and high blood pressure are examples of condition that can cause changes in the flow of blood. When it occurs, it can cause you to experience ringing in your ears. Pulsatile tinnitus is a type of ear ringing that can be caused by changes in blood flow. When you have the sensation of your heart beating in your ear, you might be having pulsatile tinnitus.
- Hearing loss – increase in age ( as you grow older) or exposing your ears to loud noise can result in hearing loss, and when this occurs, it can be a culprit of ringing ears.
- Infections in the middle ear and Meniere's disease – this is also known as otitis media. The middle ear infection happens when the auditory tube that runs from the middle ear to the back of the throat has germs trapped inside it. So, when the tube is obstructed or clogged, it can cause your ears to ring. However, if the infection clears up, the ringing ears will go.
- Medications – Some medications can result in ringing ears. They are often called ototoxic medications, and they can cause damage to your inner ear and also result in hearing loss. Examples of these medications are aspirin and certain antibiotics.
- Loud noise – exposure to loud noises such as noises from hand drills, headphones, earbuds, chain saws, kitchen blender, shouting, shooting range, concert, and more can result in ringing ears.
So, are any of the causes associated with the use of the best Bluetooth earbuds?
Causes of Ringing Ears Associated With the Use of Earbuds
From the different factors that cause your ear to ring mentioned above, excess ear wax, loud noise, and even infection are associated with the use of wireless Bluetooth earbuds. How possible is this? Let’s take a look at trapping of ear wax in the ear canal. When you use wireless earbuds during a workout or when the temperature is a little above average, moisture and sweats are trapped in your ears. Naturally, the ear wax will want to self-clean the ear canal to expel all intruders from the ear. But you know what?
You will be disrupting this natural process from taking place when you put your wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running inside your ears. The earbuds will push the wax back into the ear canal, and this causes the ear wax to build up. After some time it will be too much in the ear canal, and this can result in blockage of the canal. When the wax is too much, and the canals are blocked, you might start to experience ringing in your ears.
Additionally, when the wireless earbuds with mic push the wax deeper into the ear canal for long, it can leave your ears vulnerable to infections that can cause ringing hears as one of their symptoms. Not only that, infections that cause your ear to ring can result from the sharing of wireless Bluetooth earbuds. What do I mean? There are times that your friends or loved ones can borrow your wireless earbuds because you are using the best Bluetooth earbuds. If anyone of them has ear infections and the organism responsible for the infection is contagious, you might end up having the same ear health issue. There is love in sharing, so they say but don’t do that at the detriment of your health.
Exposure to excessive noise is known to be the most common causes of ringing ears. The higher the noise, the greater the risk of experiencing damaged hearing. To better understand the part loud noise takes in causing ringing ears, we can’t neglect the sound best Bluetooth earbuds produces.
How the Sound Being Delivered By Wireless Earbuds Causes Ringing Ears
According to Lori Zitelli, an audiologist at the UPMC Center for Audiology and Hearing Aids in Western Pennsylvania, it is not how you listen to music through wireless earbuds that causes hearing loss or ringing ears but how loudly you listen. It means you don’t need to stop using earbuds to avoid ringing ears, but you need to take some precautions when using wireless Bluetooth earbuds for running. We will discuss more on this later in the article.
That said, do you know that ringing ears is common in people that are above 55 years of age? This is because it is natural for people to experience it as they grow older. But for young individuals, it is not natural. The research found that most of the young people with ringing ears got it from exposure to loud noises. How does this happen? When an individual listens to loud noises from their wireless Bluetooth earbuds for an extended period, the tiny hair cells in the cochlea are damaged, and they never recover. These tiny hair cells are essential for hearing and once damaged, you will be vulnerable to hearing loss, and the first symptoms are ringing of the ear.
According to an estimate by the World Health Organization, up to 1.1 billion young people are at the risk of hearing loss because of how loudly and often they attend noisy events and listen to music. Also, an audiologist, Kit Frank, at Langone Health in New York says many of her young patients are having hearing loss, and she suspects that audio devices such as headphones and earbuds can be one of the contributing factors. Additionally, a study was carried out on Swedish adolescents, and it was found that there is a link between wearing earbuds, listening to music at high volumes, and poor hearings. Furthermore, the Swedish study found that the teens that used wireless Bluetooth earbuds for 3-hours or more have a higher chance of experiencing ringing ears than the teens that spent lesser hours.
What Is The Volume And Duration Of Listening Time That Can Cause Ringing Ears?
How often you listen to music from your wireless earbuds, how loud the volume is, and how long you listen to the music all play a role in determining the level of ringing ears that an individual will suffer. As a general rule of thumb, the volume of sound that is considered safe is 85 dB or below. This means ringing ears can occur if a person is exposed to sound above 90 dB for many hours per day. The safe time of exposure decreases as the volume of the best Bluetooth earbuds increases. Below are some time and loudness fact you need to consider when using your wireless earbuds.
- When you increase the volume of your wireless Bluetooth earbuds to 95 dB, ringing ears can happen after exposing your ears to such level of volume for 4-hours per day
- When you are exposed to 100 dB, you will experience ringing ears and hearing loss after exposing your ears for 2-hours per day
- Also, ringing ears and other damage can happen at 105 dB after exposing your ears for one hour per day
- Additionally, damage can occur at 110 dB after exposing your ears to such sound for 30 minutes per day
- When your wireless earbuds produce sound at 115 dB, ringing in the ear will occur after 15 minutes of exposing your ear to the sound per day
- But if your ears are exposed to 120 dB and above, ringing ears and other damages will happen immediately
How to Prevent Ringing Ears Caused By Bluetooth Earbuds
Remember that the sound loudness that comes out of your best Bluetooth earbuds and how long you listened to it is what determines if you are at the risk of ringing ears or not. There are some ways you can reduce or prevent the risk of ringing ears when using your wireless earbuds. One is to utilize the 60-60 rule. This rule is suggested by research. The rule says you should maintain a 60-percent maximum volume and listen to music through your audio device for 60-minutes. Also, wireless earbud or other audio device users are advised to take a break in between the 60 minutes listening time so that the ears can have time to recover.
Another way to prevent earbuds from causing ringing ears is to choose your wireless Bluetooth for running wisely. We strongly encourage that you go for the best wireless Bluetooth earbuds that feature noise isolation and cancellation technology. How can this help? If you are listening to a song on your wireless earbuds and the surrounding noise is disturbing you, what will you do? You are more likely to crank up the volume of your Bluetooth earbuds, and this can increase the risk of ringing ears. However, if you use earbuds that seal your ears well and cancel out background noise, you will be able to hear the sound clearly without having to increase the volume above the safe level.
Now that you have a better knowledge of what ringing ears are, what causes the condition, and how the best Bluetooth earbuds can contribute to ringing ears, you should have found the answer to your question. Earbuds can cause ringing ears if you crank the volume above the safe level (85 dB), and prevent the ear wax from self-cleaning causing the wax to accumulate in the ear canal.