Hearing Loss in Adolescents: Turn Down Volume!Sep 24, 2013
Hearing loss is often associated with older adults. But more and more, young people are experiencing hearing loss – much of it permanent, with lifelong effects. Read on to find out what’s causing this hearing loss, and what can be done about it.
In young people, hearing plays an important role in communication, learning and speech and language development. Studies have shown that even a little bit of hearing loss in young people can have negative impacts on language comprehension, speech, classroom learning and social development. Young people with untreated mild to moderate hearing loss don’t perform as well in school as those with no hearing loss, and the gap gets wider the further along in school they go.
Millions Of Children Have Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss is quickly becoming a major issue for chidren in America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that excessive exposure to noise has permanently damaged the hearing of 12.5% of children aged 6-19 years. That means there are approximately 5.2 million children in the United States whose hearing has been compromised for life, by something that is completely preventable.
Damage Is Irreversible
Noise-induced hearing loss can be the result of one-time exposure to a loud sound, or more often in children, from listening to loud sounds over a long period of time, like in the headphones of an iPod. This hearing loss damages the structures/nerve fibers in the inner ear that respond to sound, and it can’t be medically or surgically corrected. Hearing can be much improved with hearing aids, but the damage is irreversible.
Prevent Hearing Loss
To prevent noise-induced hearing loss, there are a few steps that parents can take:
- Turn down the volume!
- Understand that this type of hearing loss can result in communication difficulties, learning difficulties, pain or ringing in the ears, distorted hearing and difficulty hearing some sounds or signals
- Reduce exposure to loud sounds such as loud music, snowmobiles, power tools, etc.
- Use hearing protection when it’s not feasible to reduce or remove exposure to loud sounds
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