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Hearing at risk for 3 billion gamers in the world – Lifestyles

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Hearing at risk for 3 billion gamers in the world – Lifestyles

Video game lovers around the world, estimated to number more than 3 billion overall in 2022, could be at risk of irreversible hearing loss and/or tinnitus – persistent ringing in the ears – according to a systematic review of available evidence , published in the journal BMJ Public Health.

Conducted by Lauren Dillard, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, the study of more than 50,000 people suggests that reported sound levels often approach or exceed allowable safety limits. According to the researchers, intensified public health efforts are needed to raise awareness. While headphones, earphones and music venues (e.g. nightclubs) are recognized as potentially harmful sources of sound levels, little attention has been paid to the effects of video games, including e-sports, on hearing loss, say researchers. researchers. Gamers often play at excessive sound levels and for several hours at a time. The researchers searched databases for relevant studies and scientific literature in English, Spanish or Chinese.

The review includes 14 studies from 9 countries in North America, Europe, South East Asia, Asia and Australasia, with a total of 53,833 people involved. The prevalence of gaming is between 20% and 68% of young people and two South Korean studies report a prevalence of use of gaming centers of around 60%. The authors conclude that daily levels of sound exposure from these video games are close to maximum sound exposure levels. Although the available data is limited, the researchers suggest that some gamers, particularly those who play frequently and at the average sound levels described by the studies included in the review, likely exceed permissible sound exposure limits and therefore have unsafe listening habits, which may put them at risk of developing permanent hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

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