A rise in hearing issues due to headphones use in the Covid-19 /lockdown era, say UAE doctors
Dubai Specialist speak out
Doctors in the UAE have observed a rise in the number of students complaining about hearing problems, and they say it’s probably linked to long hours of using headphones use over the Covid-19/lockdown era.
The doctors have told parents to keep their kids’ hearing protected as they sit for hours in online classes, with their headsets on. An increase in video chats with friends and family, as well as games and entertainment, are other factors that have increased young people’s use of headphones.
A specialist in Dubai warned that listening to headphone audio that is too loud and for too long could lead to hearing damage.
“Although there is no obvious statistic report commenting on this, we see that approximately five to 10 per cent of kids are experiencing difficulties due to excessive usage of headphones or earbuds,” said Dr Prashant Sharma, an ENT specialist at Prime Hospital, Dubai.
“Prolonged use of headphones definitely has a detrimental effect on the ears across all ages, especially with kids. They may not be aware that phones also emit electromagnetic radiations with prolonged usage on high volumes and can damage hair cells and lead to sensorineural deafness.”
He also says that headsets may also lead to “ear wax and debris entrapment and, because of this, the normal migratory pattern of ear canal skin gets hampered further adding to hearing deficit”.
This means earphone usage could also lead to an increase in ear infections, according to Dubai ENT surgeon Dr Shyam Anil Pai.
“Use of earphones increases one’s chances of getting ear infections (mainly fungal) as they are placed directly into the ear canals. They block the passage of air and with sweat formation, increases the chances of ear infections and hence affect hearing,” Dr Pai explained.
“If earphones are used at high volumes for prolonged periods and over several days, it can cause tinnitus (ringing sound in-ear). There is also the possibility of noise-induced deafness, where the affected person would not be able to hear properly at certain frequencies.”
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