The following is excerpted from an online article posted by StudyFinds.
Gamers are at risk of going deaf or developing tinnitus because of excessively loud sound levels on their gaming consoles, medics warn. Researchers say that sound levels coming from gaming consoles can spike to short bursts of 119 decibels, equivalent to the noise of a bulldozer or motorbike.
Frequently, these sound levels are close to, or exceed, safe limits, with the highest levels reaching around 89 decibels, similar to the noise of a vacuum cleaner, food blender, or people shouting. Prolonged exposure to anything over 85 decibels can lead to hearing loss or tinnitus.
This conclusion comes from an analysis of evidence involving 50,000 people worldwide. Experts from the World Health Organization and the Medical University of South Carolina are calling for increased public health efforts to make people aware of these risks.
Gamers often play for hours with high-intensity sound levels, potentially causing hearing damage among the world’s three billion gamers.
The team reviewed existing studies from nine countries across North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Asia, and Australasia, involving a total of 53,833 people. Some games feature “impulse bursts” of sound lasting less than a second but reaching 119 decibels. Permissible exposure limits for sound are around 100 dB for children and 130–140 dB for adults.
“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,” says Dr. Lauren Dillard from the Medical University of South Carolina’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery in a media release.