Are You Flying Somewhere Soon?
Hi Lamorinda, Walnut Creek, Concord and friends all over the Bay Area!
Have you ever wondered if you are wearing the right kind of earphones when flying? It was not that long ago that I did not know if I was wearing the right kind either. What do you mean right kind anyway? Aren't the earphones that came with my music player fine? Well... Yes and no. They are fine when there is little noise in the background. Things change when you have background noise to deal with. When I am at home, I can use my earphones and listen to my music at 1/4 to 1/2 of volume. This is safe. In fact, you can listen to whatever you would like at 60% of the total volume for 18 hours before causing potential damage to your hearing with stock apple ear phones. The safe listening time is unlimited if listening at 50% or less.
When there is background noise, you now have to turn up the volume of whatever it is you want to listen to in order to hear it comfortably over the noise. Even though the sound may not seem that loud compared to the background noise, you are indeed causing damage to your hearing with earphones that do not isolate. This is due to the toxic levels of sound exposure including for how long it was sustained.
Isolating ear phones are available and can be ordered online for universal fits at a reasonable price or the sky is the limit if you want very high fidelity sound reproduction. On the ear and over the ear headphones are also possible, but take up more space and can be hot when worn for a long time. No matter what you choose of these options, you will be able to isolate yourself from background noise and in turn, turn down your volume to a safe listening level.
For more questions, advise or maybe you would like to know what your hearing is like? Please e-mail or call me anytime.
I wish you a lifetime of safe listening!
Your friend in Audiology,
Dr. Erik Breitling