Video games may put millions at risk of permanent hearing loss Video games may put millions at risk of permanent hearing loss

Video games may put millions at risk of permanent hearing loss

Video games may put millions at risk of permanent hearing loss

Sound is a major part of the video game experience for many, but we don't know much about what games do to our hearing.
A systematic study identified 14 unique research papers, which together included more than 50,000 people from nine different countries, all focusing on the relationship between hearing loss and/or tinnitus and video games.

The research covers a variety of gaming conditions, including PCs, home consoles, mobile games, gaming centers and e-sports.

As sound intensity increases, the safe exposure time decreases significantly. So a three-hour gaming session with the volume turned up can cause much more permanent damage than spending 15 minutes at the same level.

Adults can safely tolerate sound levels of about 80 decibels for 40 hours a week, according to the World Health Organization. But at a sound level of 90 decibels, the sound of a person screaming, that time limit drops to four hours a week before risking hearing loss. Our ears can handle sounds of 95 decibels (the sound of a motorcycle engine) for only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

So, experts are concerned that the average headphone volume in four of the shooting games ranges from 88.5 to 91.2 decibels, according to one study cited in the review.

Another paper found that pulsating sounds — short, loud bursts of noise that may indicate a gunfire or collision — can peak at 119 decibels.

Three papers focusing on gaming centers reported sound levels between 80 and 90 decibels, and two papers found that these environments increase the odds of severe tinnitus and high-frequency hearing loss.

One research paper on mobile gaming found that the average sound level was 43.2 decibels, suggesting that this type of gaming is not a concern, at least to our ears.

“Players who listen to high-intensity sound levels for prolonged periods may be at risk for permanent hearing loss caused by sound and/or tinnitus,” the researchers wrote.

Although the evidence so far is very limited, available research is finally pointing to gaming as a potential source of unsafe listening.

The research was published in the BMJ Public Health journal.


Your skin "reveals" that you have hidden diseases

The skin represents about 15% of the body mass, and is the largest and most visible organ in the human body.
However, many of the skin's functions are often overlooked, including being a sunscreen, germ shield, vitamin D reservoir, and a way to tightly regulate body temperature.

The skin also provides a view of the body tissues it protects. Disturbances of the intestines, blood, hormones and even the heart can be first seen on the skin in the form of a rash.

Accurate hit on target

Ticks are annoying creatures, and while the vast majority of tick bites won't make you sick, there is one rash that should prompt you to visit your doctor if you notice it.

Erythema migrans, known as a toxic rash due to its ability to expand rapidly across the skin, is the hallmark of bacterial Lyme disease, which can be very dangerous. This rash forms a classic target pattern, like a bullseye on a dartboard.

Be vigilant for a few weeks after being bitten to make sure this rash doesn't appear, especially if you notice a red lump that wasn't there before or if you have to remove a tick from your skin.

You should also monitor other symptoms associated with Lyme disease, such as fluctuating temperatures, muscle and joint pain, and headaches.

Purpura

The name of this rash is derived from the mollusk that was used to make purple dye.

Purpura refers to a rash of small purple or red dots. The reason lies in the accumulation of blood in a deeper layer of the skin (dermis).

Purpura indicates a problem either in the walls of the small blood vessels that feed the skin or in the blood inside them. This may be due to a deficiency of platelets, which are small cell fragments that allow blood to clot, perhaps due to bone marrow failure, or an autoimmune condition where the body turns on itself and attacks its own cells.

At worst, Purpura may indicate a life-threatening case of septicemia, where the infection spreads to the bloodstream, perhaps from the lungs, kidneys or even from the skin itself.

Leather spiders

Spider naevi are a problem within the arteries of the skin (the small arteries that supply blood to the skin). The arteries open and close to control heat loss from the body's surface. But sometimes a spider-like pattern can appear, where the open artery represents the spider's body, and the smaller capillaries spreading out in all directions are the filopodia. 

Often, these tumors are benign and are not associated with any specific condition. However, more than three cases indicate high levels of estrogen in the circulation, often due to liver disease or due to hormonal changes that appear during pregnancy.

Black velvet

Changes in the folds of the skin (usually around the armpits or neck) - especially if they become thick and velvety to the touch - may indicate a condition known as acanthosis nigricans. The "black velvet" skin appearance is more common in darker skin.

Usually, the condition is associated with metabolic disorders, namely type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. If any of these conditions are treated successfully, the rash may fade.

In rare cases, it can also be a sign of stomach cancer.
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