Headsets have become one of the most pervasive accessory used by computer and mobile phone users, and even gamers.
Headsets are useful hands-free accessory for any executive who frequently speaks on the phone, so businesses too sometime provide them to their employees.
[quote font=”georgia” font_size=”22″ font_style=”italic” align=”left” arrow=”yes”]Anytime a speaker projects sound directly into your ear, there is the potential for hearing damage. This usually results from an acoustic shock injury resulting from excess noise traveling over your phone line.[/quote]However, some potentially detrimental health consequences have been found to come from using headsets, especially if they are not used and maintained in the optimal manner.
While this piece is not meant to discourage users of headsets, it is equally important because personal and employee health are both very important in the workplace.
As long as a few simple precautions are taken, headsets can be used and their benefits taken advantage of without exposing anyone to the possible harmful effects of their use.
Technology Times brings to you some of the health implications of using an headset below:
Although the amount of radiation emitted from Bluetooth headsets and other Bluetooth devices is too low to be considered dangerous to humans, it is good to think about the effect when used for too long. Any type of wireless technology emits microwave radiation. According to EMF Blues, a U.S – based Biomagnetic Research organisation, the effects of long term microwave radiation exposure upon the body have been observed in countless studies to have health risks linked to problems such as cancer, leukemia, brain tumors, alzheimers, autism, miscarriages and hair loss.
Another risk associated with headsets is premature hearing loss. Anytime a speaker projects sound directly into your ear, there is the potential for hearing damage. This usually results from an acoustic shock injury resulting from excess noise traveling over your phone line.
This excess noise comes simply from operating the headset at higher-than-recommended levels. And when this exposure is repeated several times, it leads to inner ear damage, which, in turn, leads to hearing loss and other hearing-related heath issues.
It is therefore important to note that two of the main factors which contribute to hearing loss are sound levels and duration. As such, earpiece lovers need to check the volume level of their headsets before putting it on, as well as check the amount of time they use the headset.
The headset can be a breeding ground for germs. Kelly Reynolds, an associate professor of environmental health at the University of Arizona, was quoted in Marie Claire, a health and beauty publication, on this issue. He said “studies have shown that earbuds cause an 11-fold increase in bacteria in the ears and when you share headphones, you’re doubling the microbial flora in your ears and introducing new bacteria.”
This risk associated with headsets has more to do with proper maintenance than it does about headset mechanics. Headsets should be cleaned regularly with a disinfecting product to help reduce the buildup of disease causing germs.
No Air Passage
Many may have noticed that the earphone and headphone companies now make sure that, in order for its users to get nice audio experience, the earphones are designed in a way that they fit into the ears without any space for air passage.
This means that to get the best audio experience, we need to insert the earphones directly into ear canals which result in no air passage. However, this comes with health risks. Users now stand higher risks of ear infections. Regular use of the earphones and headphones in such ways causes more ear wax, which results in ear infections.
Headache can also result from the way earphones are used. For instance, if a headset fits too tightly, you might experience headaches and soreness. Other symptoms, such as ear irritation, may occur regardless of how your headset is fitted.
However, these health hazards are preventable. It is recommended that headset users use a better quality noise-canceling headphones that go over the ear, which does not require one to insert the earphones directly into ear canals. Also, since these headphones work better at blocking out outside noise, one does not have to increase the volume to too high decibels.
In addition to that, headset ear cushions should be replaced every six months and treated daily with a cleaning agent to reduce the risk of ‘hoarding’ and spreading infections between different people who use it. And finally, limit the amount of time you use the headset, as excess use is what causes damage to the ear.