Home ear Headphones may cause heartache

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For those ‘staying tuned’ to FM songs through headphones of mobile sets, here’s some news that might not be music to the ears.

Non-stop and high-decibel radio programmes are sure to damage ear nerves, leading to gradual degrading of the hearing
system, doctors say. Moreover, the habit may develop psychogenic disorders and hypertension which will end up in cardiac ailments, they warn.

“Prolonged use of headphones is injurious to our hearing system as it has adverse impacts on the nerves. Excess of anything is harmful. Though the habit may not damage the ear diaphragm, the harm done to the nerves is irreversible,” said Alok Agarwal of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear where sound impulses are produced) bears the brunt of head phone sounds. Any damage done to it will certainly cause hearing complications, he stressed.

Noting that the number of call centre employees approaching him with hearing problems was on the rise, he said, “they are susceptible to hearing impairments. Extended working hours using unhealthy devices may cause health risks.” Disturbed sleep, headache and ear pain are some of the common abnormalities that stem from overuse of headphones.

According to J C Passey of Maulana Azad Medical College, the possible damage to hearing system depends on duration,volume and programme. Listening to high-decibel rock music for long hours is undoubtedly harmful.

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