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Listen up, gamers - protect your ears and game on safely

Sponsored feature | Trevor Chapman, director and lead audiologist, angli-EAR Hearing

Trevor Chapman, of angli-EAR Hearing. Picture: angli-EAR Hearing
Trevor Chapman, of angli-EAR Hearing. Picture: angli-EAR Hearing

For the gamers out there, here’s a heads-up: new research suggests that playing video games for extended periods could lead to hearing loss and ringing in the ears (tinnitus). A study in the national news this month reviewed information from around the world, involving more than 50,000 gamers, and found that the noise levels can often be too high.

Experts are saying that the risk gets worse because gamers tend to play for long stretches, using headphones, and loud sounds like gunfire can be pretty intense. The study, published in BMJ Public Health, was by a team including the World Health Organisation and the University of South Carolina.

The researchers recommend that gamers, especially young ones, need to be aware of these risks. They suggest spreading the word about safe gaming practices, like not playing for too many hours at a stretch and keeping the volume in check. The study recommended that adults should not be exposed to more than 83 decibels (dB) of sound for more than 20 hours per week.

For children and teenagers, the recommended exposure to 83 decibels (dB) of sound is about 6.5 hours per week. For more intense sounds like 98dB, it drops to just 12 minutes per week. The researchers say that the average sound levels during gaming often exceed these safe limits.

So, what’s the takeaway from this? It is important to be cautious about how long and how loud you’re gaming. Hearing loss can be caused by sounds above 85dB, equivalent to a food blender. Imagine playing your favourite game at a live concert’s volume (around 110dB) – not great for your ears!

Remember, you’re exposed to various sounds throughout the day, and it all adds up. So, next time you’re deep into a game, consider giving your ears a break.

Game on, but game smart!

Call angli-EAR Hearing on 01223 661399 or visit angliearhearing.co.uk.

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