The use of headphones and music player devices has increased radically among Kenyan adolescents and young adults, and could sadly lead to a “future deaf generation”.
Health experts observe that because effects of frequent use of headphones are not known to many of the users, they overuse them and on daily basis, with music audio playing straight into the ears.
“It’s not only teenagers who are at a risk but anyone who uses headphones more than 90 minutes daily could be endangering their hearing capacity,” an ENT specialist, Dr. David Kimani from Family Heritage Hospital in Murang’a town says.
Kimani further warned that the electromagnetic waves generated by earphones and headphones could have serious effects not only to ears but also to the brain.
He regretted that in the current society, children can easily access portable audio and headphones at tender age and advised parents to be more concerned with the use of the audios by restricting volumes of their devices.
“Parents should be more concerned with their children on usage of headphones. The devices may cause hearing impairment in their older age,” said Kimani.
A 27year old hearing patient, Mary Wanjohi who talked to KNA said that she used to spend most of her time using a pair of headphones but after two years she noticed the first signs of tinnitus creeping in.
“Tinnitus is a constant ringing in the ears, and is usually one of the first signs of hearing damage,” added Wanjohi. She explained that after visiting a medical specialist, she was advised to using earphones since they would cause deafness.
“If my hearing got worse, I would never have forgiven myself since it was a problem that I could have avoided but I thank God that I am now getting better and with time I will be well,” she said.