Key hearing loss risk factors for children, adolescents and youth associated with use of mobile electronic devices with headphones
The number of research papers about the impact electronic devices produce on the younger generation that uses them is constantly growing. This study aimed to identify the leading hearing loss risk factors for children, adolescents and youth associated with use of mobile electronic devices with headphones In the 2017–2021 academic years, we surveyed 518 students in Moscow and 1000 schoolchildren and students in the towns of Izhevsk and Tchaikovsky. The survey was designed to collect data on the conditions in which the respondents use mobile electronic devices with headphones, design features of the headphones used and their hearing health status. The inclusion criteria were: status of a schoolchild, student, signed and submitted informed consent form, questionnaire correctly completed by the respondent or his/her legal representative, one or more years of using mobile electronic devices. The conducted study does not endanger the participants and complies with the biomedical ethics requirements. Statistica 13 PL software was used for statistical processing of the data collected. Fourteen percent of the respondents reported hearing deterioration in the course of the last year. Prolonged use of mobile electronic devices with headphones increases the risk of hearing loss by 10.4 times, listening to audio files at maximum volume — by 3.2 times, listening to audio files while in a moving vehicle — by 7.1 times. Most schoolchildren and students with hearing impairments have been using headphones for at least a year, preferred in-ear headphones with silicone tips, used them at maximum volume daily, for more than two hours a day, including while in a moving vehicle. The recommendations for students and schoolchildren is to limit the time of use of their electronic devices with headphones and use them at a lower volume; complying with the recommendations can improve the functional state of their health. It is also recommended not to use headphones while in a moving vehicle. If hearing begins deteriorating, it is necessary to cease using mobile electronic devices with headphones. Today, schoolchildren and students are exposed to the hearing impairment risks associated with use of mobile electronic devices with headphones, which makes the search for the most efficient ways of forming healthy lifestyle habits among them even more urgent.