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Simple Tips to Prevent Earphone Abuse

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While a lot of people are aware of the impact of noise on their hearing, many remain unfortunately oblivious to the harm they are causing until the effects of years of accumulated damage begin to manifest.

Apart from other forms of exposure to noise which may cause damage to the ear, constant use of earphones can also result in severe damage to sensitive organs including the brain, if not checked.

Yudala – Nigeria’s leading composite e-commerce company – runs the rule over the widespread abuse of these products which come in different shapes, sizes and decibel levels.

Certain products appeal to almost all classes of shoppers. An earphone or earpiece, as the case may be, is one of such ubiquitous devices.

While the majority of customers who troop into Yudala stores nationwide or visit the website fall into the youthful category, it is worth stating that the love for earphones does not appeal only to the youth.

Unarguably, the ever-increasing use of mobile phones and the love for music are major reasons for the booming market in earphones.

Music, for many in the young and adult population, is indeed a lifestyle that cannot be compromised.

When it’s time to find relief, exhilaration or succour in the clear, resonant sounds of music without constituting a nuisance to others especially in shared spaces – offices or public transport inclusive, the earphone remains the best companion. 

The earphone is also a fitting tool for making and receiving calls. It is a common sight in most corporate establishments to see company executives rely on Bluetooth-enabled earpieces, wireless devices or the plain, old earphones for this purpose. In most cases, these devices stay connected to the device and the receiver’s ear all day long…

It is important to know that improper and occasional use of earphones may pose no danger to the ear drums. Improper use or abuse, however, may pre-dispose you to severe problems. One major form of abuse is increasing the volume when you can still keep it low and achieve raft listening.

Using earphones at a sufficiently high volume level may cause trauma to cochlear structure in the inner ear which gives rise to temporary or permanent hearing impairment or deafness.

The risk is higher especially in loud places as the volume often needs to compete with the noise of the environment. Noise pollution does not only emanate from loudspeakers or vehicular horns, it largely comes from our earphones.

Effects: If not careful, that tiny earphone can also have a negative remote effect on your sense organs. Your exposure to high sound pressure levels at high volume can be damaging to sensitive structures in the inner ear which affects other sense organs such as the eye, nose and tongue. Addiction to improper usage of earphones may result to a serious damaging exposure of the cells and tissues of the inner ear which could be in a dynamic state of injury, degeneration and/or repair. This has been termed as the acute phase of noise damage.

Bacteria from the ears of different people can easily travel through your earphones if you keep sharing them without proper sanitization. In most of cases, people who use earphones regularly experience more ear wax which results in tinnitus, ear infection and even problems in hearing. Apart from experiencing numbness and pains in the ear, other effects of wrong usage of earphones are brain deficiencies.

The electromagnetic waves produced by Bluetooth-earphones can cause serious dangers for your brain. However, no strong medical evidence has yet been found to prove it. But people who are daily users of Bluetooth, headphones and earphones have been found more prone to brain-related problems. The inner ear is directly linked to the brain, even a little infection in the inner ear can directly affect the brain and can lead to serious health issues.

Symptoms: Hearing damage from earphones is more common than from loudspeakers, even at comparable volumes. This is because the earphones are very close and almost in the ear. Some of the symptoms of ear damage are hearing loss (especially in noisy places), buzzing or ringing in the ears, slight muffling of sounds, difficulty in understanding speech, hearing strange noise, etc.
 
Precaution: Wear earmuff—style headphones even though they are more expensive than the other types. The best of them all is “noise-cancelling” headphones, which reduce environmental noise. This lessens the need to crank the volume above 50 percent. It is advisable to avoid using tiny earphones that directly go into the ear canals. Those big headphones which stay outside your ears are better. However, it is risky to wear them while on the road, especially in busy commercial cities such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onitsha or Aba. This, in itself, may expose you to other dangers on the road such as fast moving vehicles.

You can listen to music at a reduced/ softer volume for a longer time. Always keep your volume below 60% and limit your listening to under one hour per day. You can buy the newer ear phones that offer a tighter fit to block out more environmental noise, which sometimes is the reason for the volume increase. This would allow you to listen at a lower volume and save you the risk of hearing loss. Before shopping for one, please check out the quality and decibel information.

Avoid sharing your earphones with others to avoid bacterial infection. Make sure you change the sponge cover/ rubber cover of your earphones at least once a month. If your earphones doesn’t have sponge covers, make sure you clean them always.

Conclusively, ear phones are good but understanding their proper usage is vital to keeping our other sense organs safe from damage. It is wrong to use your ear phones when you are alone in the room. This is the time you should spare your ear drums and listen directly from the phone speakers.

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world.

So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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NCC, NSCDC Ink Agreement on Telecom Infrastructure Protection

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Nigeria Communication Commission and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Wednesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to protect critical Telecom infrastructure from vandalism and theft.

 

Prof Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of NCC signed on behalf of the commission, while Abdulahi Gana, commandant-general of NSCDC signed for his organisation.

 

According to Danbatta, the commission is leveraging on the reach of NSCDC to protect telecom infrastructure.

 

He said that the infrastructure were being damaged and at times it could be unintended due to road construction.

 

The executive vice chairman said that the signing of the MoU had further lend credence to NCC’s commitment to secure the lives of Nigerians wherever they live, as well as protecting telecom infrastructure from vandalism across the country.

 

“We are concerned about this infrastructure and, therefore, we pray that through this partnership with NSCDC they will be protected.

 

“ These centres have been put in place to bring relief to Nigerians in distress.  They are provided to offer emergency services between the people in distress and the emergency agencies.

 

On pre-registered SIM Cards,  Danbatta said  that  NCC  would not allow unscrupulous few among the citizens to use preregistered SIM cards to undermine the security of the country.

 

“We must be seen to be doing everything within our mandate to end the use of unregistered SIM cards and, I want to warn those engaging in it to withdraw or the law will catch up with them.

 

“We will do all we can to make sure they are not in circulation. We have taken some measures, in addition to electronic forms to ensure we give a good example of those who willfully use the preregistered SIM cards to  commit fraud.’’

 

He also appreciated the assistance of the Corps to the protection of the centres which served as inter-face with the people.

 

Earlier, the NSCDC commandant-general,  Abdulahi  said that it was the corps mandate to protect critical national infrastructure, adding that they were ready to provide the equipment, and fire arms to protect the national infrastructure.

 

Gana said that the defence corps has offices not only in the 36 states but in the 774 Local Governments.

 

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Government should provide subsidy for LTE deployment in hinterlands- Adeyeye

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By peter oluka

Following the recent deployment of Fourth Generation Long-Term Evolution (4G LTE) network services in mainly in the cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, there are growing concerns on the inability of telcos and tier two service providers to replicate same feat in the hinterlands.

According to industry expert, Smile Communications with 800 MHz band spectrum operating a 4G LTE licence for nationwide coverage, it has the best spectrum to reach the rural areas.

But the odds against service providers are numerous.

In a recent interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, Mr. OlusolaTeniola, the president of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), suggested that reforms are needed in the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

Nodding in agreement Mr. Aderemi Adeyeye, president, Enext Wireless Inc., traced the inability of operators to move to the hinterlands to lack of motivation or incentives from the government.

Although, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) through the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) has tried to support the operators to meet the needs of the underserved areas, experts are of the view there are still economic bottlenecks facing the operators.

Adeyeye said in an interview with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek, “In my view, a company like Smile Communications, by the nature of its ownership structure, shouldn’t be expected to have a national focus at the present. Yes, they want to deploy services and make money in the process; I mean there is a very little money for them from the rural areas, so they focus on the cosmopolitan areas where they could make money.

“We started our work when only Smile had LTE for deployment in Nigeria. You can see the quality of their network going down because the customer base has increased, but they are not investing in improving the quality. At the early stage Smile stood out in terms of Quality of Service (QoS). In Victoria Island, for instance, it stood out. Now Glo, MTN and other service providers are focused on LTE in VI and you can see Smile’s quality nose-diving.

“When you have limited spectrum and want to attract a lot of customers, you either have to improve on the engineering so that the spectrum could accommodate more customers or you have additional spectrum you could use to service a segment of the customer base.”

“I think currently, they are focused on getting the most out of their current investment because they seem not to be improving on the engineering of the 10 MHz. We could see it from our data. The way Smile could go to the rural areas is if government mandated them, which might not be advisable.

“Also, they could be given subsidy to achieve that purpose. We also have Bitflux which has a bigger spectrum with 30 MHz bandwidth and its license is also nationwide, even though the frequency is high at 2.3 GHz.

But, to Teniola, Nigeria cannot afford to miss the new Industry 4.0 paradigm which dwells, solely, on digitization.

“We needia reform of the telecom sector in a way that it identifies the opportunities that exists in truly exploring the emerging digital realm.

“The funding of all this is a steeple chase hurdle to the realization of this new future and it requires continuous change in the way regulation and policies are formulated.

“Right now, we are undergoing consolidation in the market what we seek are for the Government to react quickly to these changes and adapt as the technology adapts to the new Industry 4.0. paradigm”, he said.

 

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NCC, NSCDC Signs MOU on Critical Telecommunication Infrastructure Protection

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Left to Right: Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman/CEO of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); and Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, Commandant-General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) during the sinning of MOU Yesterday.

Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, in line with the Board’s commitment towards achieving measurable and remarkable improvement in the quality of telecommunications services in Nigeria, received further concrete expression when the CEO of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta and his counterpart at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the head office of the NSCDC yesterday.

The signing of the MOU is the climax of series of meetings, visitations and several discussions between the two organizations that will see greater security and protection provided for telecommunication facilities by the NSCDC’s department of Critical National Infrastructure Protection.

Vandalism and theft of telecom infrastructure and facilities have been central recurring challenges to the attainment of the parameters defining the applicable quality of service standards for specific services in the telecommunication industry in Nigeria.

This year, as part of the efforts of the Commission to ultimately halt the criminalities associated with telecommunication service provision, NCC has organised 6 Zonal Sensitization Workshops for Agencies in the security sector to deepen the understanding of each agency’s role in curbing the crimes undermining the quality of service in the telecom sector.

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