The World Health Organization-led study advised governments and manufacturers to take more action to protect future hearing and asked young people to be more cautious about their listening habits.
More than 19,000 people aged between 12-34 were included in 33 research that were published in English, Spanish, French, and Russian over the past 20 years. The analysis, which was published in the journal BMJ Global Health, examined data from these studies.
It was discovered that 24% of teenagers engaged in risky listening habits when utilising headphones with gadgets like smartphones.
Additionally, 48 percent were reported to have been exposed to loud noises at nightclubs or other entertainment venues.
According to the study’s analysis of these results, between 670,000 and 1.35 billion young individuals may be at danger of hearing loss.
According to first author of the study Lauren Dillard, an audiologist at the Medical University of South Carolina, some young kids are likely at risk from both variables, which contributes to the wide range.
Turning down the level and listening for shorter periods of time, according to Dillard, are the greatest ways for consumers to reduce their risk of hearing loss with headphones.
She said, “Unfortunately, people really genuinely enjoy loud music.
Dillard suggested that users of headphones check the sound levels on their smartphones using the settings or apps.
Noise-cancelling headphones can prevent you from “cranking up your music to attempt to block out all that background noise” in noisy places, she noted.
She advised wearing earplugs during noisy events like concerts or nightclubs, noting that while it could be entertaining to stand near the speakers up front, doing so is not a smart idea for your long-term health.
When you’re 67 years old, all of these behaviours and exposures might add up over the course of your entire life and have a significant influence, she added.
Dillard urged countries to adhere to WHO recommendations for safe listening, including ensuring that venues monitor and set music volume limits.
She also advised manufacturers of gadgets like phones to incorporate parental locks to limit children’s exposure and to alert listeners when the volume is too loud.
The fact that none of the studies were from low-income nations and that different studies used diverse methodology were both limitations of the research.
Stephen Stansfeld, a Queen Mary University of London expert on noise and health who was not involved in the study, stated that it demonstrated “the potential for substantial population-wide hearing loss is very large.”
According to the WHO, 700 million people will have hearing loss by the year 2050, up from the current number of over 430 million, or over 5% of the world’s population.