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7 ways to care for your ears now that we're always using headphones or earphones

Because many Filipinos have transitioned to a work-from-home and distance learning set-ups, many of us are in our headphones or earphones on endless zoom calls or listening to teachers for hours on end.

This is why we should all take extra care of your ears during this "new normal."

During a segment on "Unang Hirit," ENT specialist Dr. Eduardo Tanlapco said long-term use of headphones may have a negative effect on hearing and may cause hearing impairments or infections.

The expert also shared the following tips to help viewers take proper care of their ears:

1. 60-60 rule

Parents with young children should always be mindful of the volume being used.

To make sure the sound isn't too much for the ears, Dr. Tanlapco would recommend following the "60-60" rule, which is basically just sticking to only 60% of the device's maximum volume.

2. 1 hour a day

According to Dr. Tanlapco, it's advisable to keep your headphone use to only an hour a day.

Since this might not be possible for everybody, especially those with online classes, the expert recommended using external speakers, which can also help parents monitor what their children are hearing.

3. Headphones recommended

For Dr. Tanlapco, headphones would be more advisable than earphones when it comes to long-term use.

For one thing, headphones don't have to go into your ears. The volume can be controlled easily, and some even have a noise-cancelling function.

4. Give your ears a break

Dr. Tanlapco said it would be nice if you could let your ears take a break from time to time.

"S'yempre, with prolonged use, you have temporary hearing loss, so you really have to give your ears a break from the noise and the sensory stimulus," he explained.

5. Clean your ear devices

Apart from hearing problems, another thing you'll want to avoid is ear infections.

Dr. Tanlapco recommends regularly wiping your ear devices with a clean cloth and some disinfectant like alcohol. You can also use cotton buds to get into small crevices.

6. Use both ear pieces

Some of us like to use only one ear phone to give the other ear a break.

Dr. Tanlapco said this was not particularly ideal since it actually puts one affected ear at a disadvantage. For one thing, you might have to increase the sound decibel to hear something better with only one ear.

7. Is wireless safe to use?

Some people are afraid of supposed "health risks" when it comes to Bluetooth headsets.

According to Dr. Tanlapco, this remains theoretical as there has yet to be concrete  or scientific evidence to prove tha Bluetooth headsets are dangerous to one's health. — Margaret Claire Layug/LA, GMA News