14 worldwide studies’ summaries, involving over 50,000 people, found that gamers exposed to different sounds levels that exceed the safe sound level, according to the medical journal BMJ Public Health.
According to new research findings, gamers are at a high risk of hearing loss and tinnitus due to exceeded unsafe sound level limits. The research shows those impulse sounds, such as gunfire, are extremely loud to handle. This is affecting gamers that play for a long period of time.
The research study was conducted by a large team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the University of South Carolina. They elaborated with caution and stated that “gamers who are listening at high-intensity sound levels and for long periods of time may be at risk of permanent sound-induced hearing loss and/ or tinnitus.”
The researchers emphasized that, in addition to their current statements, more attention should be given regarding the gaming sound risks. This is particularly relevant for children and teenagers, who are more likely to face these risks due to the popularity of gaming among this age group.
The researchers further added, “Findings suggest that there may be a need to prioritize interventions, such as initiatives focused on education and awareness of the risks of gaming, that can help promote safe gaming practices among gamers.”
What the Study Holds
The study clearly stated that the ‘permissible’ sound level is 83 decibels (dB), which should be limited to 20 hours a week. This limit decreases to 10 hours a week for 86dB and further to 38 minutes a week for 98dB. This is to avoid gaming sound risks.
For children, the guidelines differ from adults. A level of 75dB is recommended, spread over 40 hours per week. However, it is noted that most of the time, the sound levels are usually equivalent to or higher than the recommended limits.
The research team delved deeper into studies and stated, “The limited available evidence suggests that gaming may be a common source of unsafe listening, which could place many individuals worldwide at risk of permanent hearing loss/tinnitus. Additional research on these relationships is needed, along with steps to promote safe listening among gamers.”
Loud, By Definition
According to Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), a hearing loss charity in the United Kingdom, over 12 million individuals in the UK deal with deafness, tinnitus, or have reached to a stage of hearing loss.
They stated that exposure to loud sounds over a long period of time can trigger hearing loss. This particularly affects those that exceed 85dB. Such sounds include the noise that comes from the food blender.
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