Gamers At Risk Of Hearing Loss Due To Exposure To Loud Sound From Gaming Consoles

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Excessive sound levels from gaming consoles pose a risk of hearing damage, including deafness and tinnitus, according to medical experts. Researchers highlight that sound levels can reach up to 119 decibels, comparable to the noise produced by a motorbike or bulldozer.

Gamers exposed to unsafe high sound levels from games

The elevated sound levels often approaching or surpassing safe limits, with the highest levels reaching approximately 89 decibels are comparable to common household noises like a vacuum cleaner, food blender, or loud conversations. It is important to note that prolonged exposure to sound exceeding 85 decibels can result in hearing loss or tinnitus.

The assertion is based on an analysis of evidence from a study involving 50,000 individuals globally. Experts from the WHO and the Medical University of South Carolina advocate for heightened public health initiatives to raise awareness about the associated risks.

Limited research has been conducted on the impact of high-intensity sound levels in video games and e-sports. With three billion gamers worldwide, who frequently engage in prolonged gaming sessions, there is a potential risk of hearing damage that has been largely overlooked.

The team conducted a review of studies from nine countries across Asia, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Australasia, involving 53,833 individuals. Certain games exhibit brief “impulse bursts” of sound, lasting less than a second but can reach up to 119 decibels.

Exposure to elevated sounds heightens hearing loss risk

Over 10 million Americans may face elevated sound levels from video/computer games, with one study associating gaming with heightened self-reported hearing loss. Among youth, gaming prevalence ranged from 20 to 68%, with South Korean studies indicating 60% gaming center use. Two studies linked school pupils’ gaming center use to increased odds of severe tinnitus and bilateral high-frequency hearing loss.

Limited data in the review indicates that frequent gamers, especially those playing at or above average sound levels, likely surpass safe sound exposure limits. Dr. Lauren Dillard from the Medical University of South Carolina warns of potential permanent hearing loss or tinnitus among such individuals engaging in unsafe listening practices.

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