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Over one billion young people at risk of hearing loss due to “unsafe listening practices”, study finds


Nov 23, 2022

Over one billion young people are at risk of hearing loss due to “unsafe listening practices”, according to a new study published by the BMJ Global Health Journal.

‘Prevalence and Global Estimates of Unsafe Listening Practices in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’ was set up to look into unsafe music exposure caused by personal listening devices (PLDs) and loud entertainment venues.

The study gathered data from young people aged 12–34 years, compiling data from 35 records totaling more than 19,000 people. 17 of the 35 records explored music listening on PLDs, while the other 18 surveyed music at live events.

It found that 24% were listening to music at an “unsafe” decibel level, while 48% had been exposed to unsafe volume levels at live events.

The study found overall that between 670 million to 1.35 billion teens and young adults are currently in danger of experiencing hearing loss due to unsafe listening practices.

It concluded:”Unsafe listening practices are highly prevalent worldwide and may place over 1 billion young people at risk of hearing loss. There is an urgent need to prioritise policy focused on safe listening. The World Health Organization provides comprehensive materials to aid in policy development and implementation”.

See the full study here.

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