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One billion people under the age of 25 are at risk of hearing loss. Here’s how to prevent it

It’s not just for angry parents. A new study shows that it could help more than 1,000,000 people at risk of hearing loss.

According to a study published in BMJ Global Health on Tuesday, adolescents and young adults are more likely to listen to music and movies than they should when it comes to their phones and other media.

Lauren Dillard, the study’s lead author, stated via email that “we estimated that 0.67 billion to 1.35 trillion individuals aged 12-34 years globally likely engage in unsafe hearing practices” and are thus at risk of hearing loss. Dillard is a consultant for the World Health Organization, and a postdoctoral fellow with the Medical University of South Carolina.

Dillard stated that too loud a sound can cause damage to the sensory cells and structures of the ear. They can become permanently damaged if this continues for too long. This could lead to hearing loss, tinnitus, or both.

The study revealed that researchers conducted a meta-analysis on three databases containing scientific articles about unsafe listening practices, published between 2000-2021.

According to the study, unsafe behaviors were measured based on the use of headphones and attendance at entertainment venues such as bars and clubs.

The safe level of noise is limited by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at 85 decibels for 40 hours per week. The study found that listening for just 2 1/2 hours per day is equivalent to approximately 92 decibels.

The study found that listeners can choose volume levels as high as 105 decibels when they plug their smartphones with MP3 audio files. Venues range from 104 to 112 decibels.

Dillard stated that policies, businesses, and individuals can take steps to promote safe listening and protect the hearing from damage over time.

De Wet Swanepoel is a professor of audiology at the South Africa’s University of Pretoria. He said that the analysis of the study was thorough and the evidence is convincing that hearing loss should be a priority in public health. Swanepoel wasn’t associated with the study.

Swanepoel is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Audiology. He said, “Music is a gift that should be enjoyed for a lifetime.” “The message is to listen to your music, but do so safely.”

What should you do with your device?

Dillard warned that ringing in the ears can be a sign that the music is too loud, regardless of whether you are listening at home or a concert.

However, there are ways to avoid the damage and not notice it. She said that some devices can be used to monitor the level of their listening, which is possible with certain devices. Some devices will even alert you if you have been listening too loudly for too long.

Dillard sent an email stating that “if your device warns you that it is listening at unsafe levels”, Dillard suggested via email.

Dillard stated that experts cannot definitively say which headphones are safest to listen to. However, she suggested using headphones that reduce background noise. This may help maintain a lower volume so you don’t have to drown out any noise around you.

You can’t always adjust the volume dial. Dillard stated that you can protect your ears at loud concerts or venues by moving further away from speakers.

It is always a good idea to protect your ears — even foam earplugs are a good option.

Swanepoel wrote in an email that hearing is “the sense that connects us with the people we love.” “Taking care of our hearing is crucial for maintaining healthy relationships and overall health and well-being. To avoid hearing loss in the earliest years of life and to prevent it from getting worse, primary prevention is key.

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