Loud concerts, headphones could put 1 billion young people at risk of hearing loss

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Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 16, 2022

One billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices, according to a study published in the journal BMJ Global Health.

The study focused on individuals aged 12 to 34 years old.

It estimates up to 1.35 billion of them may be exposed to unsafe listening practices via loud entertainment venues or personal listening devices, including headphones and earbuds.

The study notes the challenges that come with hearing loss.

"In children, hearing loss and/or noise exposure has been associated with poorer academic performance and reduced motivation and concentration, which may lead to a trajectory of limited economic mobility later in life," the study says.

The Centers for Disease Control says safe levels equate to around 85 decibels over 40 hours a week.

However, the study says many people use their listening devices at 105 decibels and entertainment venues range from 104 to 112 decibels.

The study's authors say there is an "urgent need" for policymakers to address the risk of unsafe listening practices and educate the public.