Did you know around 10 million Americans struggle with noise-induced hearing loss that is, unfortunately, irreversible? In addition, there are about 30 million more who are exposed to loud noise at dangerous levels every day. For teenagers and kids, listening to loud music is one of the most common reasons they have hearing loss.
In a 2009 study, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) discovered that four out of five people in the U.S. are losing their ability to hear due to their use of ear buds. Moreover, hearing loss is the most common concern among parents, ranking higher than food allergies, exposure to tobacco smoke and asthma attacks.
To ensure better hearing among kids, AAO-HNS gives tips for parents to make sure their children will not be exposed to a greater risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
For starters, the group highly recommends that children lay off the loud music from time to time by taking intermittent breaks between long periods. When the children are exposed to a loud environment or if there is an activity that is expected to involve high decibel levels, give them ear muffs, plugs or similar protection. Remind them to turn down the volume when the sound of their music gets a bit too high for their own good.
Teenagers, in particular, are prone to noise-induced hearing disorders because of their proclivities to engage in activities involving loud sounds, such as playing noisy gadgets like video games, or stereo sounds, attending concerts, play instruments in a band, operating mechanized tools like leaf blowers or lawn mowers, etc.
As a rule of thumb, the noise is damaging if anyone needs to shout over the deafening sound before they can make themselves heard by your children. If you are concerned about your children's hearing, get in touch with an ENT doctor to prevent irreparable damage.