Over 1 Billion Population At Hearing Loss Risk Due To Headphones, Loud Music: New Study

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Over 1 Billion Population At Hearing Loss Risk Due To Headphones, Loud Music: New Study

MUSIC IS something that put us in good mood and releases overall stress. However, loud music can damage cell membranes in the cochlea and can lead to hearing loss. A new study stated that around one billion of the population worldwide could be at a high risk of developing hearing loss from headphones or loud music.

According to the World Health Organizations's estimation, around 430 million people have disabling hearing loss globally. People, particularly young individuals are at high risk because of their usage of personal listening devices such as mobile phones, headphones, and earbuds or attending loud music venues.

The study published in the open-access journal of BMJ Global Health studied 19,000 participants aged between 12-34. The finding of the study includes that young people had unsafe listening practices while using headphones and smartphone devices. Around 48 per cent were found to have been exposed to loud unsafe music and noise levels at venues such as concerts or clubs.

The study estimates that between 670,000 to 1.2 billion young people could be at a high risk of developing hearing loss. The wide range is partly because some young people are probably at risk from both factors, said Lauren Dillard, an audiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina and the study's first author.

"We define unsafe listening in terms of the sound loudness and the duration of noise exposure. Any device paired to a headphone or earphones that exceeds permissible limits for safe listening can put individuals at risk," Dillard said.

The people using headphones frequently should use settings to monitor the sound levels, Dillard advised. She added, "In loud environments, noise-cancelling headphones can help avoid "cranking up your music to try to drown out all that background noise. Earplugs should be worn at loud events like concerts or nightclubs, she said, adding, "Maybe it's fun to be in the front by the speakers, but it's not a good idea for your long-term health. "All of these behaviours, these exposures can compound throughout your entire life, and then when you're 67 years old, it can have a pretty big impact", she concluded.

To protect your hearing, "Early preventative efforts are worthwhile before years of high exposure have taken place," said Ballam-Davies.

Tips To Protect Your Ears From Loud Music

1. Always maintain the volume on a low level which feels comfortable to your ears and mind.

2. Avoid loud, noisy activities and places.

3. You can protect your ears with ear protectors such as earplugs or earmuffs.

4. Use the 60:60 rule which says that, listen to music at 60 per cent of the maximum volume for only 60 minutes in a day.

5. Have a hearing detox, according to Action on hearing loss, an individual needs at least 16 hours of rest for the ear to recover from spending around 2 hours in 100dB sound.

 

(Inputs From Journal: BMJ Global Health)

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