Chicago — More than 1 billion young people could be at risk of facing hearing loss.
According to a new study published in BMJ Journal, it’s estimated that 0.67 to 1.35 billion kids and young adults worldwide could be at risk of hearing loss due from exposure to unsafe listening practices, NPR reported.
Young people from ages 12 to 35 using devices like MP3 players and cell phones actively listened to content at 105 decibels, while the recommended noise limits are no more than 85 decibels throughout a 40-hour week, according to the study.
"Damage from unsafe listening can compound over the life course, and noise exposure earlier in life may make individuals more vulnerable to age-related hearing loss," researchers said.
A person’s risk of hearing loss depends on how loud, how long and how often they are exposed to certain noises. In children, hearing loss can lead to poorer academic performance, reduced motivation and reduced concentration. For adults, it could be linked to a decline in one’s mental health, lower income, depression, cognitive impairment and heart problems.
There are a few things you can do to protect your hearing.
- Take a break from the exposure if possible
- Use ear protections, such as foam ear plugs, in loud environments
- Put distance between yourself and the source of the noise, such as loud speakers at an event
- Keep your devices at a safe volume. Some cell phones have features that will alert you when your content is too loud.