Did you just get some sweet AirPods from Christmas?  You may want to get that gift receipt.  Some health experts are warning us to stop using earbuds and AirPods right now and it's not for the reason you may think.

My mind first went to cramming high-volume sound into our ear canals and how that just can't be good, and while I'm sure that is not helping the situation, it is also not the current reason for alarm.  I’m a DJ and I stopped wearing my headphones during my show. I put them on and leave them on the table in front of me. I convinced other DJs to do that too because we are slowly (or not so slowly) going def. After 27 years of blasting my headphones right on my ears, as well as hosting live music events while standing in front of performers' sound systems, it has taken its toll. I have hearing loss that I will never get back so I decided to make a change.

Photo by mahdi chaghari on Unsplash
Photo by mahdi chaghari on Unsplash

There is a new issue to worry about with those earbuds that you may have gotten for Christmas or Hanukah. Billions of people use Apple AirPods, headphones, and earbuds to take phone calls, listen to music or watch videos. We are using them so much, there is a new health problem developing and it is not about the decibels of noise.

Researchers are finding out that long-term and repeated use of these headphones are leading to a build-up of earwax. Apparently, the act of pushing in earbuds compresses the earwax, and to make matters worse, the earbud creates a warm and wet area which not only creates the growth of bacteria, it never lets your earwax dry up and flake out of your ear. Gross.

This is a harmful side effect that can lead to dizziness or even vertigo (I've had that for a few days and thankfully it passed but you never want that, trust me!). So what is the recommended solution? Somewhere in the middle between my recommendation and stuffing earbuds in your head is the recommended answer.   Experts think you are way better off with over-ear headphones BUT they say you should not have them turned up loudly. This overprotective mom and live with that.  Also, wipe them down with an anti-bac wipe to keep the bacteria at bay.

Just remember that tech is only focused on pleasing the senses, not protecting them.

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