We should all remain aware of our hearing and potential damage to the ear’s inner structures. However, a new research paper suggests that gamers are at a heightened risk of hearing loss and tinnitus.
Below, we’ll review this study’s findings and provide actionable tips to protect your hearing, whether or not you’re an avid gamer!
Video Games and Sound-Induced Hearing Loss
A research paper published this month in BMJ Public Health indicates that gaming may be a common source of unsafe sound levels. Out of five peer-reviewed studies, four reported a significant link between gaming and hearing loss or tinnitus. Overall, the paper involved over 50,000 people.
What is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the official term for ringing in the ears. It can also be described as the perception of sound with no external source. Tinnitus generally results from hearing loss or an ear injury.
Protecting Against Hearing Loss as a Gamer
Gamers and other individuals who are frequently exposed to dangerous sound levels can protect their hearing by:
- Turning down the volume while gaming, listening to music, or watching TV (aim for 50% volume)
- Limiting the amount of time spent exposed to high sound volumes (the World Health Organization has reported that adults can safely be exposed to 80 decibels for up to 40 hours weekly, 90 decibels for four hours weekly, and 95 decibels for just one hour and 15 minutes weekly).
- For shooting games, the average headphone sound level is around 88.5 to 91.2 decibels.
- Taking frequent breaks for your ears while gaming (5 minutes every hour, at minimum)
- Using noise-cancelling headphones and keeping the volume at safe levels in loud environments
If you experience tinnitus, hearing loss, or any other hearing concern, schedule an appointment with the experienced team at ENT Associates. Early intervention is crucial to preventing permanent hearing loss.