Hearing Loss in Children
Approximately 12 percent of all children ages 6–19 have noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and is almost always preventable!
Hearing loss can happen at any age. A growing number of teens and kids are damaging their hearing by prolonged exposure to loud noise.
Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in our inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.
The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85dB.
How to protect your child’s hearing:
- Wear proper hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs) when in noisy environments (concerts, sporting events, fireworks displays, car races). Hearing protection comes in a variety of sizes and textures to provide an optimum fit. Custom-made earplugs can be obtained from an audiologist.
- Turn down the volume.
- Walk away from loud noise.
Childhood noise risks include:
|Noisy toys||Sporting events|
|Farm equipment||Movie theaters|
|Firecrackers and fireworks||Power tools|
If you think your child may have a hearing loss, “Find an Audiologist” and set up an appointment to get your child’s hearing checked.