Anyone who has a child will be familiar with the strong feeling of protection they have for them. As a parent, you will do everything you can to protect your child from harm. But how often do you think about your child’s ears and hearing? As Florida’s leading Audiologist with years of experience in helping children, Dr. Michelle knows all about the things that can cause harm to your child’s hearing. We have some tips to share with you to help you protect your child from hearing loss caused by noise.
First of all, some statistics
Noise-induced hearing loss is on the rise. Surveys show that around 12-15% of school-aged children have some hearing loss due to noise exposure. That’s a high percentage. But how loud does something need to be to cause a hearing loss? There are two types of noise-induced hearing loss: one can be caused by a single exposure to an “impulse” sound, like an explosion, and the other by prolonged exposure to loud noises. Continued exposure to sounds above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. That’s the level of noise from heavy traffic in the city. A motorcycle engine is around 95 decibels, and an mp3 player at maximum volume can be around 105 decibels. The louder the noise, the less time it takes for damage to be done.
How does noise damage hearing?
There are tiny hair cells inside the ears and these are the part that can be damaged by loud noises. These sensory cells are essential to our hearing and they don’t grow back once they’ve been damaged. Noise-induced hearing loss can be a gradual thing, and can affect just one ear or both ears. Extremely loud, sudden sounds, such as an explosion or gunfire, can even rupture the eardrum or damage the small bones in the middle ear, causing permanent damage to hearing.
Protecting your child’s ears
You may think it’s no big deal to mow the lawn while your child is playing outside, but that lawnmower could easily be loud enough to damage the hearing of both you and your child. It’s a good idea to set an example by wearing ear defenders when using loud tools, and making sure your child does too if they are playing nearby.
It might surprise you to know that children’s toys can be loud enough to cause damage. If a toy causes enough of a noise to drive you crazy, it’s probably not good for your child’s ears either.
As children grow older, they often get into the habit of listening to music at high volumes. You might save yourself from having to hear it by encouraging the child to use headphones, but you should keep an eye (or ear) on their volume level and make sure they keep it reasonable. Make sure they take a rest from it now and then, too, as this can make a big difference.
Dr. Michelle can answer your questions and help care for your child’s ears
If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, the best thing you can do is visit an Audiologist in Florida. As the leading hearing healthcare expert in the area, Dr. Michelle is the best person to look after your child’s ears. You can ask Dr. Michelle a question, or apply to become a private patient. Dr. Michelle sees only a select few patients, meaning she can give them her full attention.