Earbuds and Hearing Loss in Children

The holiday season is in full swing; we are hearing Christmas music everywhere we go, houses and trees are covered in twinkling lights, cookie exchanges, parties and piles of

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

presents are making their appearance once again.  We love this time of year where we can stop and reflect on life, our family and our friends.  These next couple weeks of togetherness, is a fantastic opportunity to pay attention to your children’s health and habits.  One of the things that often go unnoticed during the busy days of work and school is the abuse our children put their inner ears through and the effect it can have on their hearing.

Earbuds are the biggest culprits of hearing impairments in children.  They might seem small and harmless, but can be just as dangerous to your hearing as chainsaws, heavy equipment noises and motorcycles.  The problem is that when you use earbuds, the music you listen to is played directly into your ear canal which increases the decibels at which your ear drum receives the sound.  This high decibel sound is when noise induced hearing loss occurs.

The good thing is that this type of hearing loss is completely preventable.  We aren’t saying you have to bid your kids love of music goodbye, just take a few precautionary measures to protect their hearing.  The best way to listen to music is to follow the 60/60 rule; this means never turning the volume up more than 60% of its maximum and listening for no more than 60 minutes at a time.  Another way to tell if your children are in danger of hearing loss is if you are sitting next to them and can hear their music.  If so, make sure they turn it down right away.

Some signs that they may have hearing loss are if they hear a ringing, buzzing or roaring in their ears after listing to loud sounds and any muffling or distortion of sounds.  Oftentimes, hearing loss goes unnoticed for a long time because it generally happens gradually.  So while you are all home together this holiday season, why not take an online hearing assessment to see how each of you do, you might be surprised.




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