With the smart phones becoming more affordable every single day, many youths have become addicted to earphones unable to live without them something that is both a traffic and health threat.
These spend almost the whole day listening to music in a bid to obstruct other noises coming from the outside; they usually increase the volume in order to enjoy the beats.
I was prompted to ask them the reasons as to why they are obsessed with ear phones and their reasons were quite interesting.
Esther Nantambi says that she wants to listen to music all the time and when she is in a noisy place she just increases the volume.
“Basically to minimise the noise, you know you are seated with other people and you want to listen to a particular song so what I do is to have my ear phones on,” she says.
Unfortunately what seems trendy is actually a danger to our health. We are likely to have a deaf generation if we do not regulate earphone usage.
“Playing loud music that is greater than 110 decibels is dangerous and it is hard for individuals to measure that but the fact of the matter is those earphones especially with loud music may cause damage to the nerves, because we have nerve endings in the ear that take the message from the ears to the brain,” Dr Joshua Musinguzi, a hearing expert, said.
Still, many people borrow ear phones without taking into consideration the risk of ear infections.
“We have seen people sharing ear phones and we know that people have different ear infections every day and especially the young generation and therefore you can transmit a disease from one to the other,” Musinguzi cautioned
Having gotten information on the dangers of earphones, I was compelled to ask these young people if they actually knew that earphones can be a danger to their ears. Well, many have no idea about this.
According to Musinguzi, earphones are not supposed to be inserted in the ear for it is dangerous to one’s hearing capacity.
“The way we even put them on is not good, they are supposed to be on the ear not in the ear, sometimes people go an extra mile to push them inside because they feel the sound they are getting is not enough, which is very dangerous. In fact the big ones “headsets” are better because they stay on top of the ear,” he noted.
Musinguzi further said that one ought to use ear phones four hours at most.
“If someone uses ear phones for a minimum of four hours a day they pose a high risk of getting hearing loss, and this hearing loss can be either permanent or temporary depending on how you respond.” He adds
On the other hand, there is a traffic aspect attached to using ear phones. This involves pedestrians and cyclists.
According to Charles Ssebambulidde, use of ear phones while driving and on road by drivers and pedestrians respectively is against the law.
“The law says that you must concentrate when you are driving therefore using maybe listing to music from a hand held phone on ear phones or head phones, as long as what you are using is connected to your handheld mobile phone whether it is on the dashboard or not, as long as you are using it you have not concentrated where you should be concentrating so the law gets you and you are charged,” he said.
Although the statistics of pedestrians and drivers that are involved in road accidents due to ear phone usage on the road is not yet known, it is a fact that many people lose their lives because of the divided attention on the road.
“The fact is pedestrians are the biggest causalities to fatal accidents so if you are a pedestrian and you are having either music or listening using headsets as long as you are at the motor way or crossing the road or walking in traffic ensure that your concentration on the vehicles on the road is at the maximum, short of that in case of an accident and you are knocked by a vehicles then you are going to be categorized as a careless pedestrian,” Ssembabulidde said.