Earphones vs Headphones: Choosing the Healthier Option for Your Ears

When it comes to choosing between earphones and headphones for extended listening, which option is better for your ears? This is a crucial question, as it directly impacts your auditory health. Renowned ENT specialist, Dr. Rachna Mehta, sheds light on this matter. In her insightful Instagram post, Dr. Mehta emphasizes that when deciding between earphones inserted into the ear and headphones worn on the ears, headphones are the preferable choice due to their potential benefits.

Dr. Mehta highlights that earphones, when placed inside the ear canal, can inadvertently push earwax deeper, leading to increased blockage. Furthermore, these earphones directly affect the delicate ear drum, making them susceptible to potential long-term damage, especially when used at higher volumes. Dr. Mehta adds that earphones tend to completely seal off the ears, trapping moisture, which creates an environment conducive to infections.

Echoing these concerns, Dr. Amol Patil, a senior consultant at the ENT and Spine Surgery Unit of Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital in Mumbai, points out that consistent and prolonged usage of earphones, particularly at high volumes, has been linked to a heightened risk of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). He emphasizes that urban areas already have ambient noise levels exceeding WHO recommendations, making prolonged earphone usage even more detrimental to hearing health.

So, what’s the best approach? If you occasionally use earphones for brief periods, it’s generally fine. However, if you find yourself using earphones extensively for activities like meetings, lectures, or music sessions, Dr. Mehta suggests opting for headphones instead.

Dr. Patil concurs with this advice and adds that it’s wise for young individuals to either limit their exposure to high volumes or maintain the volume below 60 percent of the maximum capacity. If possible, considering noise-cancelling options is also recommended. Dr. Patil emphasizes the importance of undergoing regular auditory health check-ups to ensure early detection and timely intervention.

In conclusion, prioritizing your auditory well-being involves making informed choices about your listening habits. Opting for headphones and being mindful of volume levels can significantly contribute to maintaining healthy hearing. Remember to consult with specialists and undergo routine checks to ensure the long-term health of your ears.


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