October is National Protect Your Hearing Month declared by the National Institute of Health and Deafness.  Our blog discussion today is all about pre-teens. This group of children are especially vulnerable to hearing loss.  The Journal of Pediatrics are reporting that 12.5 percent of your children, ages 6 to 19 are hearing impaired due to listening to loud music through earbuds at unsafe volumes.

Anything above 85 decibels is bad news.  Parents should  be cautious and become better educated about your children and their hearing health.  Stay pro-active and it will payoff.  About Better Care Audiology has some great information for you to read about this subject.

Unfortunately, hearing loss does not happen “just” to the older adult.  Today’s youth faces unique lifestyle challenges.  Their hearing can be damaged by illness, brought on by an eye injury, by genetics and even medications taken early in life can cause hearing damage. Hearing loss can affect their social life negatively, it can cause low self-esteem and even interfere with their education.

Pre-teens are being subjected to many loud video games, smart devices turned up to full volume, and other outside activities providing plenty of loud sounds to assault their hearing.  Once the child’s hearing is lost, it cannot not be restored.  It is better to be pro-active with our kids now and avoid things which would cause permanent hearing loss. There is a great website dedicated to this topic which is called “Noisy Planet.” There is also a Spanish website available to reach as many children as possible throughout the United States.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss:

Most pre-teens are quick to want to take part in loud concerts and other events which can lead to permanent hearing loss. Even listening to extremely loud music at home, and using their smart devices for too loud and for too long can damage their hearing.

Did you know?

There is immediate danger for concert goers or those pre-teens attending sporting events where the level of sound is increased to a high volume. Another “family” activity in some families is hunting with dad or a family member.  Being subjected to loud gunfire can cause hearing loss almost instantly.  Whether the child is taking part or simply along for the day, they require hearing protection.  Even if the noise level is lowered, if it lasts over a long period of time, hearing damage can occur.  An example of this would be using yard or farm equipment, or using loud tools for building projects.

Listening for long periods of time:

Today, pre-teens are listening to loud music using earbuds for extended periods of time. This practice has quickly become a huge part of their culture  Using an earbud places the sound much closer to the eardrum than when a headphone is used.  The earbud is not as effective in blocking out background noise. Because of this, the teen will turn their music even higher to block background noise.  MP3 smart devices hold a large amount of music and our kids are listening longer.  Many are even listening when they sleep.  You can see the great potential today for the hearing to be affected.

Steps to prevent hearing loss:

  • Lower the volume of any listening device
  • Teach your kids to move away from loud noises
  • Use hearing protection always

Hearing loss affects a pre-teen’s education:

When a child suffers from a hearing loss, it almost immediately affects their academic pursuits.  Today, this is a growing problem for our young people.  If the hearing loss is left untreated, there is a lower chance for our kids to succeed academically.  Making sure that we provide them with yearly hearing tests and pay close attention to their daily dose of loud noises can help to save their hearing. Good hearing protection is available online and at sporting goods stores.

Conclusion: Pre-teen hearing loss

Of all of the senses, our sense of hearing is one of the most powerful.  It warns us of impending danger, the sound of an approaching vehicle and other obstacles.  Protecting a child’s hearing is crucial to leading a safe and productive life.  As a parent, you must take seriously,  the environment today,  which is adversely impacting your child.

Contact the hearing specialists today at Orlando ENT Hearing Services.  We will set up a hearing consultation for you and your child.  Once we determine if they have a hearing loss, we will partner with you to take care of your child’s hearing health.  Like we mention on our website, a hearing checkup can lead to better hearing.  Contact us to schedule a hearing test for your pre-teen today.

We wish you all a safe and happy Halloween this year. Your teens can enjoy the festivities but should follow a few rules of safety.  Read these safety tips for teens.

Hurry back for more next time from the professionals at Orlando ENT Hearing Services.

Staff Writer

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