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Gamers risk life-changing irreversible damage, new study warns

Gamers risk life-changing irreversible damage, new study warns

It's really bad news for gamers, according to this new health study

A new study brings some absolutely catastrophic news for gamers as it warns that we could be facing irreversible damage if we're not careful.

It would be no fun playing games with no sound, especially when loads of them come packed choc full of an orchestral score that has to fight to be heard over the sounds of action and dialogue.

We've only got two ears and one attention span so games can be plenty loud while trying to hold our attention and apparently this could have some catastrophic consequences in the long run.

The new paper published in BMJ Public Health reviewed a total of 14 studies which involved over 50,000 people and sought to bring together all the information.

What researchers found was a concerning possibility that gaming might be linked to sources of unsafe levels of sound which can cause irreversible hearing loss or tinnitus.

Of the 14 studies looked at in the paper, five of them evaluated a possible correlation between gaming and hearing problems, with four of those five warning there were 'significant associations or correlations' between the two.

You won't be smiling much longer mate.
Getty Stock Photo

The paper's authors would like more public health awareness of the possible dangers posed by gaming in a similar vein to what's been done with live music and headphones.

Here's the science-y bit - the World Health Organization (WHO) says that adults can be exposed to 80 decibels (dB) of noise for about 40 hours a week.

This level of noise would be comparable to a busy street, a vacuum cleaner or a typical doorbell going off.

Given the way decibels work, this level of noise is about 100 times louder than 60dB, which is about the level of a normal conversation.

Beyond the 80dB point our ears struggle to put up with the noise for long.

An adult should only really get at most four hours of 85dB a week, and just an hour-and-a-quarter of 90dB over the course of seven days. Children are even more vulnerable to loud sound levels.

Irreversible hearing loss or tinnitus could be the consequence of playing games with the volume too loud.
Getty Stock Photo

This is where gaming kicks in as a problem, as studies found that the average level of noise in headphones for four popular shooting games is between 88.5 and 91.2dB, otherwise known as too damn high to be hearing on a regular basis.

It gets even worse when gamers are actually getting into the action of the game, as some shooting noises were recorded as reaching noises of up to 119dB.

It's also bad news for gamer guys as well, as according to the studies they were more likely to play for longer and with the volume louder.

If there's one crumb of comfort to cling to it's that the paper's authors recommend more research be done in this direction as some of the studies they looked at were done in the 90s.

More examination of the data is needed before you tear the headphones away from your precious darlings while they play Fortnite, or whatever the kids are into these days.

Maybe just make sure the sound isn't turned up higher than it needs to be.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Gaming, Health