Posted on Monday, April 21, 2014

Noise Induced Hearing Loss Rising in Kids

Fireworks like these can cause hearing loss

Over five million children have hearing changes that are the result of noise. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is one of the top contributors to hearing loss, but for many years adults have had more incidents than children. That is slowly changing. There has been an increase of noise induced hearing loss among kids. This increase is due to noise exposure that is a result of many things including technology, loud toys, and the use of in the ear headphones.

The Oregon Health & Science University has taken on the issue of hearing loss in kids by funding a program called Dangerous Decibels designed to help kids prevent hearing loss. A decibel is a way to measure sound. The louder the decibel the more damage it can do to hearing.

According to the website students at school may receive more noise in an eight hour day--presumably from noisy hallways and cafeteria--than the average factory worker. That means that in addition to teaching our children about hearing health prevention, it's important to make school officials aware as well. Children aren't always aware of the every day noises that can cause hearing loss. One thing a child can do to prevent noise exposure during the school day is to wear ear protection. In fact, protect your ears ear is one of three ways highlighted by the Dangerous Decibel website. The others include: walk away and turn it down. These three lessons are important because they make children aware of the most important lesson of all--noise induced hearing loss doesn't have to happen. Noise induced hearing loss is preventable and children can protect their hearing.

Although MP3's and earphones take much of the blame for NIHL the truth is that kids are exposed to dangerous decibels when and where parents might not suspect, like at parties, loud toys, and during sports. Children's parties at fun zones or party zones can endanger children's hearing. The loud noise of kids screaming, the bells and whistles of games, and even the life-size singing electronic animals can produced decibels that are too loud. Becoming familiar with and teaching children the three important ways Dangerous Decibels highlight for preventing hearing loss can go a long way to helping them have a lifetime of healthy hearing. And as the video below explains, there are many items in every day life that can cause hearing loss after only fifteen minutes of exposure.

If you'd like to learn more about how to prevent hearing loss in kids, see your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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