During the pandemic, headphone and earbud use increased as more people plugged into work, or do school, remotely.
It’s why audiologist Dr. Audrey Taylor with UT Physicians says it’s important for people to know the 80/90 rule.
“It means we don’t want to turn up the volume more than 80%, for more than 90 minutes,” said Dr. Taylor.
She said while significant hearing loss can happen after a single incident, it’s more common to lose hearing over time.
“Once we’ve lost our hearing due to noise damage, we can’t get it back,” she said.
Dr. Taylor said it can also put someone at a higher risk of cognitive decline.
She suggests using a device with a good seal – noise-canceling headphones can prevent you from having to turn up the volume.
And she added that there is no difference between headphones and earbuds – extended use and loud volumes with both can lead to hearing loss.
She also wants people to be aware of the signs so they can seek medical help early on.
“People with signs of hearing loss will say “what” often, or ask for things to be repeated,” says Dr. Taylor.
She says with children, they may not follow instructions as well or constantly turn up the volume on their iPad or TV.