A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery) has found that prolonged screen time can lead to permanent hearing loss. The study, conducted by researchers from the University of Oregon, looked at the effects of increased exposure to digital media on hearing of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years old.
The study found that hearing was affected by the amount of time spent on digital media, such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and television. The participants that reported spending the most time on digital media had the greatest hearing loss.
The hearing loss was measured in two ways: by the threshold of hearing, or the lowest level of sound that can be heard, and by the amount of distortion in the sound, which is called the signal-to-noise ratio. Both of these measurements can be used to determine the level of hearing loss.
The study also found that the hearing loss was permanent and irreversible. This means that even if the participants stopped using digital media, their hearing would not be restored to its original state.
The study also found that the amount of time spent on digital media did not necessarily have to be continuous in order to cause hearing loss. Even brief periods of time, such as a few minutes a day, could have an effect on hearing.
The study concluded that prolonged screen time could lead to permanent hearing loss and that even brief periods of time using digital media could have an effect on hearing. The researchers suggested that parents and caregivers should be aware of the potential risks associated with prolonged screen time and monitor their children’s usage.
The findings of the study highlight the importance of monitoring the amount of time children spend on digital media and taking steps to reduce the amount of time they spend when possible. It is also important to remember that hearing loss is permanent and irreversible, so it is important to take steps to protect hearing now to avoid potential problems in the future.