We’re starting to see the effects of a couple of generations of people walking around listening to loud music on headphones and earbuds. Pumping high-volume audio directly into your ear canals will eventually cause hearing loss.
According to a study by the BMJ Global Health Journal (“Prevalence and Global Estimates of Unsafe Listening Practices in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”), anywhere from 670 million to 1.35 billion teens and young adults are at risk of losing at least part of their hearing. And the overwhelming cause is too much loud music. Headphones and earbuds are the biggest problems, but loud music at concerts and clubs aren’t helping matters, either.
The study, which looked at 19,000 people aged between 12 and 24, found that roughly 24% were listening to music at hazardous sound levels on their personal devices. About 48% were exposed to “dangerous” sound pressure levels at concerts and clubs. Pro-rating this to the approximately 2.8 billion people in that demo, researchers came up with that top-end figure of 1.35 billion.
At the risk of sounding like Grandpa Simpson, turn it down.