School Hearing Tests Need Revamping

Our lives are constantly bombarded with noise from every direction; television, music, gaming, and movies are just a few of the noises we encounter each day.  It was bad enough School Hearing Tests Inadequatewhen it was from a distance, but now with easy access from our hand held devices, many of us are plugging earphones in to get our electronic fix.  Many experts feel that this is the reason why noise-related hearing loss has increased significantly in recent years. Our children are especially vulnerable to this type of hearing loss and unfortunately they are rarely tested for it.

Many schools in the US currently require hearing tests and while a lot of of them actually conduct the tests themselves, they usually only screen for low-frequency hearing loss.  Another disappointing trend is that they rarely screen beyond 6th grade, which is when high-frequency hearing loss tends to become a significant threat.  For this reason alone, many adolescents are being left behind when it comes to hearing loss.

One study done at a Pennsylvania High School compared the typical state-required hearing testing against a more comprehensive high-frequency test.  Their results were quite enlightening.  Of the 282 students who participated, only 5 failed the state mandated testing.  When they were tested at the high-frequency levels however, 85 students failed; that is a shocking difference!

Unfortunately, high frequency hearing loss in adolescents has slipped under the radar, but it really needs to be addressed.  Parents need to be more proactive to talking to their children about the dangers of headphone usage at loud levels and the need for using hearing protection if they are going to find themselves in a loud environment, such as concerts, shop class and even while mowing the lawn.

If you suspect your child might have some sort of hearing loss, have him or her seen by an audiologist.  They can help you find a solution to correcting the problem as well as preventing any further damage to their hearing.  They can also offer customized ear molds  that can be used in conjunction with hearing aids, for hearing protection or for recreation use.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.