Study suggests gamers are at risk of irreversible hearing loss and tinnitus


A study has found that people who play video games are at risk of damaging their hearing due to unsafe sound levels. The review suggests that gamers often play for long periods of time with the volume turned up beyond safe limits, which could lead to irreversible hearing loss or tinnitus. The study, published in BMJ Public Health, reviewed 14 studies involving over 50,000 people. The researchers are calling for more public health efforts to raise awareness of the issue, similar to what has been done for live music and headphones. The World Health Organization recommends that adults should only be exposed to 80 decibels (dB) for 40 hours a week, with the safe exposure dropping rapidly above that level. The study found that average headphone noise levels in shooting games ranged from 88.5 to 91.2dB, and impulse sounds reached 119dB. Boys were found to play video games more often and for longer periods of time at higher volumes than girls. The authors acknowledge that more research is needed to establish a stronger link between gaming and hearing loss. They suggest that interventions focused on education and awareness of the risks of gaming may be necessary to promote safe listening among gamers.

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