Study: Half of Young People in the World at Risk for Hearing Loss

According to a recent study, up to 1.35 billion young people worldwide are at risk for hearing loss as a result of “unsafe listening.”

According to the study, nearly half of people between the ages of 12 and 34 are exposed to harmful noise levels at entertainment venues and up to one in four people between the ages of 12 and 34 are exposed to dangerous noise levels via “personal listening devices,” such as high volume settings on smartphones.

According to the authors, “this review is the first published article we are aware of that estimates the prevalence of exposure to risky listening practises in adolescents and young adults and its global burden.” These figures are required to convey to governments, businesses, and other stakeholders in charge of implementing policy the urgency of [prioritising] hearing loss prevention.

The study, which was just published in BMJ Global Health, looked at information from 33 studies on “unsafe listening” among adults between the ages of 12 and 34. In the study, exposure to sounds louder than 80 dB for at least 40 hours a week constituted unsafe listening. (For comparison, the CDC’s list of sounds that might cause hearing loss estimates that city traffic is roughly 80 dB.)

According to research, exposure to loud noises on a single occasion or repeatedly over the course of a lifetime can cause hearing impairment that could be permanent. According to the study’s authors, hearing loss is linked to poor academic achievement, limited economic mobility, and health issues.

They urged governments to act and more to be done to inform the public on ways to prevent hearing loss. The CDC recommends lowering the volume or taking listening breaks, wearing earplugs to safeguard against hearing loss, and preventing children from being around loud music or equipment at home.

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