According to a large review of the available research Around more than one billion young people worldwide are at risk of hearing loss from listening to headphones or attending loud music venues.
The World Health Organization-led study called on young people to be more careful about their listening habits and urged governments and manufacturers to do more to protect future hearing.
The analysis published in the journal BMJ Global Health looked at data from 33 studies published in English, Spanish, French, and Russian over the last two decades covering more than 19,000 participants aged between 12-34.
It found that 24 percent of young people had unsafe listening practices while using headphones with devices such as smartphones and 48 percent were found to have been exposed to unsafe noise levels at entertainment venues such as concerts or nightclubs.
Combining these findings, the study estimated that between 670,000 to 1.35 billion young people could be at risk of 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.
Audiologist Dillard told AFP the best way for people to lessen their risk of hearing loss from headphones is to turn down the volume and listen for shorter periods.
“Unfortunately, people do really like very loud music,” she admitted. Headphone users should use settings. or apps on smartphones to monitor sound levels, Dillard advised. In loud environments, noise-canceling headphones can help avoid “cranking up your music to try to drown out all that background noise”, she added.
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.
She also urged companies that make devices like phones to warn listeners when the volume is too loud and to include parental locks to restrict children´s exposure.
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