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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Gaming Can Lead to Hearing Loss in Young People

Let’s be honest, kids are going to game. Even if you prohibit it at your home, your child quite likely will engage in gaming at a friend’s house. It’s one of those laws of childhood.

But you can and should remind your child that gaming with headphones or earbuds set at high volume levels can lead to hearing loss and / or tinnitus. In fact, researchers suggest as many as 10 million people in the U.S. alone are likely listening to game volumes beyond safe levels.

A big part of the reason: gamers often will play for hours at a time and, during that stretch, gradually increase volumes to keep the serotonin and other juices flowing. The result is a constant audio bombardment on young ears that are still maturing.

In a scientific review of gaming literature, researchers found that gaming volumes – especially so-called ‘impulse bursts’ that last as little as one second – can easily reach 119db, enough volume to damage ears.

Note that permissible exposure limits are roughly 100 dB for children and 130–140 dB for adults.

The researchers concluded: “Although the data provided in this review are limited, they suggest that some gamers, particularly those who play frequently, and at or above the average sound levels described by papers included in this review, probably exceed permissible sound exposure limits, and are thus engaging in unsafe listening practices, which could put them at risk for developing permanent hearing loss and/or tinnitus.”

So mom and dad, be sure to remind your child, again and again, to “keep the noise down” if they want to be able to hear well in the future.

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