1.35 billion young people at risk of hearing loss, study finds
Unsafe exposure to high volume music is thought to be a primary culprit
A new report published BMJ Global Health Journal details how over a billion young people could be at risk of hearing loss.
The study, titled Prevalence And Global Estimates Of Unsafe Listening Practices In Adolescents And Young Adults: A Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis, explores how unsafe exposure to music could be permanently damaging.
According to the report, 1.35 billion young people between 12-34 are at risk — stemming back to listening to music too loud on a device, or exposure to loud music at concerts and events.
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The study compiled results from 33 existing reports from 35 different records looking into a total of 19,046 young people and their experiences with music and hearing loss.
“Exposure to unsafe listening practices from voluntary use of PLDs and attendance at loud entertainment venues is highly prevalent in adolescents and young adults,” reads the report.
“It is estimated that 0.67–1.35billion adolescents and young adults worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss from exposure to unsafe listening practices.”
17 of the 35 records looked into listening to music on personal devices, while the other 18 explored music at live events.
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“There is an urgent need for governments, industry and civil society to prioritise global hearing loss prevention by promoting safe listening practices,” the report states.
“WHO global standards, recommendations and toolkits are available to aid in the development and implementation of policy and public health initiatives to promote safe listening worldwide.”
The study also found that almost a quarter of all young people were listening to music at an “unsafe” decibel level, while 48% had been exposed to unsafe volume levels at live events.
Read the full study here.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter