|Education||Family Photos||Black History|
Can You Hear Me Now?
Hearing loss in teens and tweens
(Family Features) - If you're the parent of a teen or tween, chances are you've wondered, half-jokingly, if your child hears anything you say. The reality is that there are over 6.5 million American children ages 12 to 19 living with some form of hearing loss - and much of it is preventable.
Noise induced hearing loss
Every day, we experience sound in our environment - from television and radio, to household appliances and dreaded rush-hour traffic. Normally, we hear these sounds at safe levels that do not affect our hearing. However, when we are exposed to harmful noise, sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time, sensitive structures in our inner ear can be damaged, resulting in noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to an intense "impulse" sound, such as an explosion, or by continuous exposure to loud sounds over an extended period of time, such as a too-loud MP3 player. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), long-term exposure to 80 to 85 decibels, or any more than 15 minutes exposure to 100 decibels, can lead to hearing loss. Music players like iPods can top 100 decibels when turned all the way up.
In fact, according to a survey conducted by Hear the World, a global initiative by leading hearing system manufacturer Phonak, exposure to high noise levels was found to not only result in gradual hearing loss, but also stress, aggression or insomnia in 73 percent of those surveyed.
MP3 players and your teen
A study released in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 1 in 5 U.S. teens suffer from some form of hearing loss. Among other culprits named, from nutrition to environmental toxins, the use of the "earbud" style of headphones while listening to high decibel music was found to be one reason for the increase.
"It is no surprise that teens and young adults today are listening to music longer and potentially louder than years past," said Dr. Craig Kasper, Chief Audiology Officer of Audio Help Hearing Centers and Hear the World spokesperson. "Ongoing exposure to loud sounds daily, through earphones for example, can have a direct impact on your hearing early in life and not just as you age."
How loud is too loud? If an earbud headphone sounds loud to people nearby, it's too loud.
If you suspect your child might have hearing loss, contact your local audiologist for a complete hearing screening. For more information on hearing loss and how loud is too loud, as well as an online hearing test, visit www.hear-the-world.com.
Reducing the risk
The good news is that noise induced hearing loss is 100 percent preventable.
"The impact of noise on hearing is often underestimated because the damage may take place gradually. As a result, many people do little to prevent the process of hearing loss that takes place throughout their lives due to the noise pollution around them," said Dr. Kasper.
To protect hearing, Dr. Kasper recommends these tips for teens and tweens:
Sound waves travel through the ear canal to the inner ear, where tiny hair cells convert the sound into nerve impulses that travel to hearing centers in the brain. Excessive noise can damage those cells and cause permanent hearing loss.
Top five misconceptions about hearing loss
Signs of hearing loss in your teen
Audéo PFE Perfect Bass
The Audéo PFE (Perfect Fit Earphones) Perfect Bass are a set of high-end, sound-isolating earphones by leading hearing systems manufacturer Phonak. The Audéo PFE provides exceptional fit with different, replaceable ear tips, great sound (even at low volume levels) without sacrificing the health of your ears, and starts below $100. The Audéo PFE Perfect Bass can be purchased online at www.audeoworld.com.