Gaming addiction may lead to permanent hearing loss, warns study

Gaming addiction may lead to permanent hearing loss, warns study

Three studies revealed that boys, in particular, spend extended periods playing video games with higher-risk volume levels compared to girls
Gaming addiction may lead to permanent hearing loss, warns study

Web Desk

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19 Jan 2024

The video gaming enthusiasts who eagerly stay connected to their games, wearing headphones and immersing themselves in high-volume sounds, deemed unsafe beyond a specific threshold, face the risk of "irreversible hearing loss and tinnitus," as reported by the BBC.

A review of 14 studies involving over 50,000 participants highlights the pressing need to address the prevalent habit of exposing oneself to high-volume levels, potentially leading to severe consequences.

Gamers who exceed the recommended safe sound limits, playing for extended periods, may incur long-term health issues, according to the study's findings.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises that adults can safely endure 80 decibels (dB) for 40 hours weekly, akin to a doorbell's noise level. 

The organisation recommends a weekly exposure limit of four hours at 85dB and one hour and 15 minutes at 90dB for adults. Listening beyond these thresholds significantly imperil hearing abilities.

The results indicate that average headphone noise levels in certain shooting games ranged from 88.5 to 91.2dB, with impulse sounds, like shooting noises, reaching 119dB. 

Three studies revealed that boys, in particular, spend extended periods playing video games with higher-risk volume levels compared to girls. 

While numerous research studies have identified a connection between gaming and hearing issues, experts emphasise the need for additional research to strengthen this link. Tehy suggest factors like e-sports, geographic region, sex, and age should be considered in further investigations.

Although recent data on sound levels is scarce, the research implies that gaming could be a common contributor to hazardous listening.

The study advocates for public health campaigns akin to those for live music and headphones to enhance awareness. 

The researchers stress the importance of implementing interventions that encourage safe listening habits among gamers, proposing educational programs and increased awareness initiatives.

While the gaming industry association, Ukie, promotes the use of headphones within safe levels, it refrains from offering specific remarks on the study. With the gaming landscape constantly changing, the research highlights the crucial need to prioritise measures aimed at safeguarding the auditory health of gamers.

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