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Earbuds, Loud Concerts Place Over a Billion Young People at Risk of Hearing Loss, Says Experts

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By Augustine Mbam - - 5 Mins Read
  Wearing earbuds has become a standard for young people worldwide. It’s also common for young people to attend concerts where their favorite artists perform to groove to the rhythm of blaring music. But are all these common activities good for the health of the ears?   A new study from a group of scientists has revealed that over a billion young persons are at risk of hearing loss due to loud music at concerts and earbuds. In a BMJ Global Health news release, the new study's authors said governments have to give more attention to this new problem. They cited that promoting safe listening practices will reduce the rate of noise-induced hearing loss.    "There is an urgent need for governments, industry, and civil society to prioritize global hearing loss prevention by promoting safe listening practices," the authors said.    Lauren Dillard, who works at the otolaryngology-head & neck surgery department at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, was among the researchers. Together with her colleagues, they advocated for young people to consider what and how they listen to sounds.    Over 19,000 people aged 17 to 34 years were used for the research and were involved in 33 studies. Out of the 33 studies, about 17  were based on personal listening devices (PLDs, such as earbuds, headphones, and smartphones). 18 out of the 33 were based on external loud environments such as concert areas.    The results from this study were shocking as they revealed the risk many young people face due to how they listen to music and other things. The researchers established that PLD use and attendance at loud entertainment venues would affect as many as 0.67 to 1.35 billion young.    Scientists have already established that safe hearing levels are 80 dB for adults and 75 dB for kids. However, the new study shows a lack of control over how young people listen to music and other forms of entertainment. Most users go as far as using volumes higher than 105 dB, and this has been considered unsafe by these researchers.    The World Health Organization has estimated that more than 400 million people are experiencing hearing loss worldwide. The number that this new research is projecting even makes it scarier on the number of young persons that will experience hearing loss in the future. 

Causes of Hearing Loss 

Hearing loss has been a major problem worldwide, and its rate has been growing among young people. In the past, hearing loss was often a characteristic of old age. That has changed as many young adults have shown signs of hearing loss recently.    Loud concerts have been a major cause of both noise-induced and sensorineural hearing loss. Worldwide, most young people like spending their time at concerts and carnivals where loud music is played consistently for a long time.    Earbuds and headphones are also factors that cause noise-induced hearing loss. Headphones can be played at 95-110 decibels, which is unsafe for those listening to them. Even while listening to headphones at a safe hearing level, the war should be rested from time to time.  Explosions are not only those people hear at battlefields or war zones. Explosions coming from fireworks can also be dangerous to the ear. Young people should control how long they stay in an environment where explosions are heard.