Hearing loss: more than a billion young people worldwide are at risk

Hearing loss: more than a billion young people worldwide are at risk


According to a recent US study, between a quarter and half of adolescents and young adults worldwide could experience significant hearing loss. The researchers believe that the cause is none other than “dangerous listening practices”, that is to say the misuse of headphones, headphones or even excessive exposure to the speakers of discotheques.

A youth plagued by hearing loss

In a 2021 publication, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that 1.5 billion people currently have more or less pronounced hearing loss. Of these, 430 million are in need of rehabilitation services. In addition, according to forecasts, no less than 2.5 billion people will be affected by more or less pronounced hearing loss in 2050. Moreover, a study published in the journal BMJ Global Health on November 15, 2022 and conducted by the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston (United States) comes to provide details.

According to researchers, between a quarter and a half of adolescents and young adults (more than a billion people) are at risk of hearing loss from playing too much music. This practice can also cause tinnitus which is characterized by audible buzzing, clicking or hissing without being caused by an external source. Moreover, according to many ENT specialists, many people with hearing disorders consult because of this problem.

Dangerous Listening Practices

As part of the study, experts interviewed 19,000 young people, half of whom admitted to listening to music at too high a volume. The results allowed the study authors to estimate between 0.67 billion and 1.35 billion the number of individuals aged 12 to 34 with “dangerous listening practices”. Remember that health professionals advise against exceeding 85 decibels over 40 hours of listening in a week. Unfortunately, the sound present in headphones and earphones often reaches 105 decibels. The sound level in discotheques and other performance halls is between 104 and 112 decibels. The fact is that each person has auditory capital, which, after being completely consumed, cannot be regenerated.

Experts therefore point out that people who listen to music must protect their hearing by lowering the volume, but also by listening for short periods of time. Judging by the estimates, it does indeed seem that correcting these dangerous listening practices is of crucial importance for the younger generations.