Kanza Mustafa, Isra Masrur Khan, Rabia Nadeem, Syed Muhammad Hussain Zaidi, Arisha Faiq, Arifa Ali Asghar, Usama Nasir
Introduction: The popularity of earphones has increased dramatically over the past decade since its inception in 2001. Earphones attenuate high ambient noise levels and necessitate increased volumes for acoustic enjoyment, putting users at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. This feared consequence could increase hearing aids and add to the global burden of disability. Methodology: This cross-sectional study of 306 college students included a self-administered questionnaire comprising (including socio-demographics) information about earphones' use in the following areas: average daily and weekly usage, volume level preference, episodes of tinnitus, symptoms of sensorineural hearing loss, knowledge about the hazards of high volume. The students were in first to final years of various undergraduate programs, aged ≥18 years, and provided informed consent. Data were analyzed using SPSS 24. A chi-squared test determined the association. Results: Out of 306 students, 94% were frequent users of earphones, with the majority being females (56%) with ages of 20-22 years. 55% of the students preferred to use listening devices at higher volumes, 49% never turned TV/radio volume up in order to hear better, and 51% agreed that ringing in the ears is a warning sign of overexposure to loud sound, while 74% agreed that usage of earphones at high volumes is damaging for the ears. Conclusion: While many students were aware of the health hazards of using earphones, very few were practicing safety measures. Key Words: Noise-Induced Hearing Loss, Personal Listening Devices, Awareness of using Earphones, Health Hazards of using Earphones, Risky behavior associated with earphone use.