Do bone conduction headphones damage hearing?
This may seem like an odd question to ask because we would never think that something as simple as earphones could have any impact on the way we hear. This article will try and clarify some of the most common questions about the impact of wearing headphones.
First of all, it should be known that there are headphones that are not designed to affect hearing. These headphones work by transmitting sound through the ear canal directly into the brain.
These types of headphones can actually improve your hearing because they block out background sounds such as wind and other noise that you would otherwise be missing out on. However, they are not able to reduce the volume at the same time.
So can bone conduction headphones damage hearing? The answer is yes. Even if you are not using these types of headphones and you are still wearing normal earphones, you may still experience a decrease in hearing.
Earpieces are made up of three parts; the ear, a microphone and a sound processor. In order for these parts to work properly, the vibrations from the earphones need to travel through the canal to the auditory part of the brain.
Unfortunately, the canal is not perfect. There is some amount of space between the canal walls, which allows sound to leak through.
These gaps are also referred to as ‘cavities’ and they are where bone conduction headphones can cause some damage.
When bone conduction headphones are used in conjunction with regular earphones, this is what causes most problems.
A regular pair of headphones will be able to absorb some of these gaps, but they will still have some left over which can cause a problem when bone conduction headphones are used. So do bone conduction headphones damage hearing?
The answer is yes, even if you are not listening to a very noisy environment, your noise level can still affect your hearing. So if you are using a set of bone conduction headphones at a volume higher than is advisable you will be experiencing some degree of hearing loss.
However, if you are listening to a very quiet environment and you are not using your earphones at full volume, then you may not notice any hearing problems.
Manufacturers warn against using these types of headphones while driving as they increase the risk of loss of hearing.
However, some studies have shown that they can actually be useful when driving in high-traffic areas and when the noise cannot be heard from the driver’s seat. It may just take a couple of days before your hearing returns to normal.
Of course, there are some cases when bone conduction headphones will not cause hearing problems.
If you have a condition such as a deviated septum, or if you have recently had surgery to correct this condition, you may have no problems with the way your hearing works.
However, there are many more people who should avoid wearing these types of hearing aids. Those who suffer from excessive earwax build up and other such conditions should be cautious of whether they want to wear bone conduction headphones or earplugs.
They may well find that they are damaging their hearing rather than helping it.
In general, bone conduction headphones are not considered to be bad for your hearing.
However, if you are looking to reduce the amount of stress in your ears, they may be better suited to your needs. Earplugs are much more effective at doing this.
You need to determine what type of hearing loss you are suffering from. Do some research into your particular situation and you will soon be able to decide which type of hearing aid is right for you.