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Hearing Loss Estimated to Surpass One Billion People Due to Concerts and Earbud Abuse

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There are many causes for temporary and permanent hearing loss, including loud environments
like factories, certain diseases, and more. However, one culprit may be much more prevalent
than you’ve ever considered. A new study claims countless young individuals are at high risk of
hearing loss from loud music — as many as one billion.
To put that into perspective, there are around 8 billion in the world today, so nearly an eighth of
the planet’s population could experience noise-induced hearing loss from listening to music at
higher volumes than they should. If you’re concerned about whether you can go deaf from
listening to loud music, here’s an overview of the study and its findings.

The Study

A team of international researchers led by academics from the University of South Carolina
compiled data regarding unsafe listening habits from around the world. They used 33 studies for
their analysis that had information on more than 19,000 participants between the ages of 12 and
34. The studies were devised of two groups — 18 that focused on loud entertainment venues
like concerts, and 17 that consisted of personal listening devices such as earbuds.
The study estimated the number of young adults at risk of hearing loss from loud music by
observing the prevalence of unsafe listening practices. As the world population in the study’s
designated age group was 2.8 billion and the percentage they found of loud concert attendance
and personal listening device use ranged between 24% to 48%, the researchers concluded that
between 0.67 to 1.35 billion people are at an estimated risk of hearing loss.

Can I Go Deaf From Listening to Loud Music? Here’s Why
Loud Noise Can Damage Hearing.

Hearing loss from loud music occurs because of the damage it can do to components of the
body’s auditory system — notably the cochlea in the inner ear — causing changes and potential
tinnitus. This compounded damage and noise exposure early on in life can make individuals
more prone to age-related hearing problems. Loud concerts and earbuds contribute to this
damage because they often exceed normal decibel (dB) levels, which are used to measure
sound. Safe dB levels for kids and adults are 75 and 80, respectively — unsafe listening
practices easily surpass these levels.
While earbuds alone may not cause hearing loss from loud music, they are dangerous in the
sense that they allow users complete control over the volume. Individuals can listen to the tunes
on their mp3 players at 105 dB, which is much higher than the average amount. Loud concerts
and entertainment venues are even worse, reaching between 104 to even 112 dB. In addition,
the length of time you listen to loud sounds can also be detrimental to your auditory nerves.
Given how many individuals are projected to experience hearing loss from loud music, the
authors of the research study have stated in news releases that governments need to start
encouraging safe listening practices through policymaking. Doing so can help mitigate their
estimated outcome and help prevent individuals from experiencing hearing loss.
If you’re looking for a hearing doctor to assist you with auditory concerns in Bucks or
Montgomery County, Philadelphia, and other areas in Pennsylvania, call Dr. Goldberg today. He
and his team have over 50 years of experience and offer additional professional services as
well. Whether you need a sinus allergy or snoring doctor specialist, you can always trust Dr.
Goldberg. Reach out today for further information and to schedule your appointment.
Meta: A research study suggests that more than a billion people may be at risk of hearing loss
because of loud music. Here’s a look at their study and why.

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