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Hurt Hearing from Headphones

Why do Bearcats continue to use headphones when they know they can cause hearing loss?
Hurt+Hearing+from+Headphones

In a dead silent class, where you can hear a pin drop, you pick up a hum from across the room from someone’s airpods, and can’t help but wonder, how loud is it playing for them?

According to the National Library of Medicine, teenagers that listen to music with airpods or headphones for 80 minutes or more, on average, per day have a hearing loss prevalence of 22.3%. Regardless of this information, the sight of headphones in student ears on campus is not uncommon.

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Using headphones, it’s in my own personal space. I’m not disturbing anybody else. It’s all about me and the way I enjoy my music

— Jazir Artega, 12

Though it may not seem like it, this knowledge of how headphones can damage their hearing is fulfilled by the students. Out of 70 Bearcats interviewed, 85%, stated that they know that wearing airpods or headphones could potentially lead to hearing loss, but they still use them for numerous reasons. 

Based on the same survey, 73% said they help them focus, 70% said they help to block out noise, 43% said they use them to relax or fall asleep, 33% said it helps them hear the music louder, and 34% said they use them so that only they can hear what’s playing.

“Using headphones, it’s in my own personal space. I’m not disturbing anybody else. It’s all about me and the way I enjoy my music,” senior Jazir Artega said.

When we listen to music, on a high volume, with devices over our ears, the inner part of our ears are damaged, which leads to hearing loss. The cochlea, a part of our inner ear, contains thousands of tiny hair cells. Loud noise can injure those hair cells, and, after this happens, the cochlea can’t transmit sound messages to the brain as well as before. Unlike other broken or fractured parts of our body, however, the damage done to the inner ear never heals, so, the more hair cells that get harmed, the worse the hearing gets.

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You can hear all the music details and the sounds that you can’t usually hear through the phone’s speaker

— Erick Uribe, 11

“Listening to music loudly generates a more vibrant and spontaneous experience. Every detail in the rhythm, every beat can be heard and the song becomes a whole new creative journey,” freshman Enrique Rickert said.

Artega and Rickert both explained that they understand that listening to music for long durations can or will affect their hearing, but ultimately agree that it’s worth the risk because of the other benefits that come with it.  

Based on the survey results, it’s clear that numerous other Bearcats agree as to how the experience with headphones is irreplaceable and worth the chance of hearing loss.

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About the Contributor
Quinn Kobayashi
Quinn Kobayashi, Blind Date Co-Editor

Sophomore Quinn Kobayashi is the Blind Date Co-Editor for the Crimson Newsmagazine. She plays club soccer and participates in the high school’s women's soccer program. She is excited for her first year in Crimson and ready to improve her skills in journalism.

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