MANCHESTER, England, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
Music lovers who are addicted to their headphones run the risk of developing hearing problems within months of regular use, research has found.
Based on responses from 8,800 people from 11 countries, including the UK -and compiled by research experts GfK Eurisko in conjunction with the world's leading hearing specialist Amplifon - the paper shows that the "longer the exposure to music through earphones, the greater the chance that hearing loss will occur."
Even among young people, where you would expect there to be no hearing problems, there is a progressive level of hearing loss among regular MP3 users.
The focus of the World Health Organisation's World Hearing Day (3rd March) is on childhood hearing loss and aims to raise the awareness that the majority of hearing loss in children is preventable.
Entitled 'Coping With The Noise', the research paper is a scientific assessment of recent data on hearing health and it looks at the relationship between noise exposure and health, ranging from effects on hearing to the impact on general physical and psychological wellbeing.
One of the paper's key findings is that the habit of listening to music through earphones has become a mass phenomenon, especially over the past 20 years. The data suggests that some devices can produce maximum sound levels of 120 decibels - louder than the sound of a jet flying overhead at 1,000ft.
The report defines unsafe levels of noise as exposure to sounds in excess of 80 decibels for eight hours or 100 decibels - that's the equivalent of a petrol lawn mower - for 15 minutes.
Researchers found that young people are particularly at risk of damaging their hearing, with around 90% of 12-19 year olds using music devices - like MP3 players and smartphones. Half of these admit keeping the volume high, and one out of three say they use the devices very often. According to the paper there is a clear link "between the duration of use and the audiometric threshold, so the longer the exposure to music through earphones, the greater the likelihood of hearing loss."
Barry Downes, audiologist and professional services manager at Amplifon, says: "There's growing evidence that shows people who regularly listen to loud music through earphones are damaging their hearing."
More information: http://www.amplifon.co.uk