Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) found that up to 1.35 billion young adults between ages 18 and 34 regularly listen to dangerously loud music on personal headphones and at entertainment venues, which is jeopardizing their current and future hearing health.
According to the study, approximately 24% of 12- to 34-year-olds are listening to music on personal listening devices at “unsafe levels,” defined as 80 decibels or higher, for over 40 hours per week.
WHO estimates that more than 430 million people worldwide currently have disabling hearing loss. While hearing loss is typically more common as people age, WHO cautions that younger people have become much more vulnerable to it because they’re frequently listening to loud music.
The researchers concluded that the need to promote safer listening practices for young people is “urgent.”