REVIEW – September 2018

Entertainment that can lead to hearing loss

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Ageing, ear diseases and traumas, as well as industrial noise have been the common reasons for hearing loss. Nowadays, leisure activities such as attending concerts, listening to music with home audio equipment and, in particular, using headphones to listen to music have added to this list. The goal of these activities is recreation, however, due to excessive sound volume (e.g. in concert venues, sound level can reach 95 to 115 decibels), hearing loss and complaints of tinnitus have significantly increased over the last twenty to thirty years, especially among young people who frequently use headphones. This article gives an overview of the research conducted in this area, as well as of the increased risk of hearing loss because of the specific features of modern sound recordings. Unfortunately, in Estonia, no studies have been performed of hearing loss caused by listening to music at concerts and during other recreational activities. Nor is there a statistically reliable overview of hearing loss among people.