ESPORTS gaming has become a popular form of entertainment and competition, with many professional players earning substantial incomes. However, the long hours of game-play and the constant exposure to high-volume sounds can put gamers at risk of hearing loss.
Prevalence of hearing loss among ESPORTS gamers
Studies have shown that ESPORTS gamers are at a higher risk of developing hearing problems than the general population. A study published in the International Journal of Audiology found that 50% of ESPORTS gamers who participated in the study reported experiencing hearing loss symptoms, such as tinnitus, compared to 10% of the general population. Another study published in the Journal of Audiology and Otology found that ESPORTS gamers had a higher prevalence of hearing loss and tinnitus than non-gamers.
Types of ESPORTS gaming and sound levels and Potential causes of hearing loss in ESPORTS gaming
Different types of ESPORTS gaming have varying sound levels and frequencies that can affect hearing differently. For example, first-person shooter games tend to have more intense sounds, while strategy games have fewer and less intense sounds. Therefore, it is essential to know the specific type of game being played and adjust the volume accordingly.
The most common cause of hearing loss in ESPORTS gaming is prolonged exposure to loud sounds. The noise level of many games can reach over 100 decibels, which is equivalent to the sound of a chainsaw. Improper use of headsets, such as wearing them for extended periods or turning up the volume too high, can also lead to hearing loss.
Prevention Strategies for Hearing Loss in ESPORTS Gaming
Limiting exposure to loud sounds is the best way to prevent hearing loss. Players can adjust the volume of the game and use high-quality noise-cancelling headsets to reduce external noise. They can also take regular breaks to give their ears time to rest and recover from the loud sounds.
According to research studies, console and PC ESPORTS gamers are at risk of developing hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds from games and headsets. Specifically, one study found that over 50% of ESPORTS gamers reported hearing loss or tinnitus symptoms, while another study found that ESPORTS gamers had a higher prevalence of hearing loss compared to non-gaming controls. The potential causes of hearing loss in ESPORTS gaming include high sound levels, the use of earbuds or headphones for extended periods, and the type of games that may be more likely to cause hearing damage. For example, first-person shooter games with high amounts of gunfire and explosions may be particularly harmful to hearing. Additionally, gamers may turn up the volume to hear in-game sounds over noise from fans or other ambient sounds. Prevention strategies for hearing loss in ESPORTS gaming include a range of measures. These may include taking breaks during gaming sessions, using noise-cancelling headphones, keeping sound levels at a moderate level, and using game settings or third-party tools to reduce sound volume. Breaks during gaming sessions should be taken every hour to give ears some rest. Additionally, gamers should be encouraged to get regular hearing checks to monitor their hearing health. The WHO's new standard on hearing loss recommends measures to prevent hearing loss, including reducing exposure to loud sounds, using protective equipment, and increasing public awareness on the issue. This standard can be used as a basis for additional prevention strategies for ESPORTS gamers.
To summarize, here are some prevention strategies that console and PC ESPORTS gamers can follow to prevent hearing loss:
1 Taking breaks during gaming sessions: Gamers should take breaks every hour to give their ears some rest. During these breaks, they can stretch their legs, walk around, or engage in other non-gaming activities.
2 Using noise-cancelling headphones: Gamers can use noise-cancelling headphones to reduce the amount of outside noise they hear, which can help them keep sound levels at a moderate level.
3 Keeping sound levels at a moderate level: Gamers should keep sound levels at a moderate level to prevent hearing damage. They should avoid turning up the volume to hear in-game sounds over noise from fans or other ambient sounds.
4 Using game settings or third-party tools to reduce sound volume: Many games come with built-in settings to adjust sound levels. Gamers can also use third-party tools to adjust sound levels if their game does not have this feature.
5 Regular hearing checks: Gamers should be encouraged to get regular hearing checks to monitor their hearing health.
It is worth noting that the consequences of hearing loss can extend beyond just impairing one's ability to hear. Hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life, leading to social isolation, communication difficulties, and even depression. It can also have an adverse effect on professional gamers' careers as hearing plays a vital role in their gameplay and communication with teammates.
Therefore, it is crucial for ESPORTS organizations and players to prioritize hearing health and take the necessary steps to prevent hearing loss. This can include implementing regulations on sound levels during tournaments and providing education and resources on hearing protection for players. Additionally, players can also incorporate hearing protection practices into their daily routines, such as taking regular breaks, using lower volume settings, and using earplugs in noisy environments.
In conclusion, the prevalence of hearing loss among ESPORTS gamers is a significant concern that requires attention. Research studies have shown that ESPORTS gamers are at an increased risk of developing hearing problems due to the prolonged exposure to loud sounds. By taking preventative measures and following the guidelines set by the WHO, ESPORTS gamers can protect their hearing and continue to enjoy their favorite games without putting their hearing at risk.
ESPORTS gaming can be a fun and exciting activity, it is essential to recognize the risks associated with prolonged exposure to loud sounds and take steps to protect one's hearing. The prevalence of hearing loss among ESPORTS gamers is a growing concern that requires attention and action. By promoting hearing protection practices and taking preventative measures, ESPORTS players can ensure their long-term hearing health and continue to enjoy their passion for gaming.