New Delhi: Most of the people today are always using their earphones. They can be seen with earbuds whether they are home or out travelling. The electronic gadgets market is flooded with headphones and earbuds. The companies that sell these products have come to know that people prefer to wear headphones to listen to videos and music while they watch them on their mobile phones.
However, this habit is quiet dangerous. A study on this subject has revealed that over 1 billion people are on the verge of suffering from hearing-loss, reason being use of earphones and headphones.
Govts and civil societies should promote safe listening practices
According to a study published in the journal BMJ Global Health, more than a billion teens and young people are at risk of hearing loss. The cause for this is the use of headphones, earbuds and exposure to loud music. The international team, including researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in the US, said governments around the world need to urgently prioritize safe listening policies for ear health. The researchers said governments, companies and civil society need to contribute to global deafness prevention by promoting safe listening practices.
430 million people are deaf worldwide
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 430 million people worldwide suffer from hearing loss. The researchers said that the youth who are using personal listening devices (PLDs) are affecting their hearing power as they ignore the prescribed sound standards.
People are unaware about prescribed volume standards
Previously published research suggests that PLD users often use volumes as high as 105 decibels (dB). Meanwhile, the average sound level at entertainment venues range from 104 to 112 dB. While the sound level has been fixed at 80 dB for youth and 75 dB for children.
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The revelations of the research
The researchers estimated unsafe hearing practices among teens and adults to determine whether they were at risk of hearing loss. They searched published research databases in English, French, Spanish and Russian, covering age groups between 12-34 years. The research looked at data from 33 studies published in English, Spanish, French and Russian over the past two decades, involving more than 19,000 participants aged 12-34. It was found that 24 percent of youths had less hearing loss when using headphones with devices such as smartphones. On the other hand, 48 per cent had hearing loss due to exposure to loud noises at entertainment venues such as concerts or nightclubs.
What is the solution?
Taking together the findings in the study, it is estimated that between 670,000 and 1.35 billion youth may be at risk of hearing loss. To avoid being a victim of deafness, it is necessary to reduce the volume and listen to things in the limit. Headphone users should keep an eye on the sound levels. Along with this, earplugs should be worn in crowded places, so that the power of hearing is not harmed.
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