Hearing is an essential part of daily life but sadly a large portion of the population takes it for granted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “An estimated 12.5% of children and adolescents aged 6-19 years (which is approximately 5.2 million people) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise.”
We stopped by the Covenant Health Partners Ear Nose & Throat Associates of Lubbock and spoke with Dr. Philip Scolaro about why this is becoming such a big issue and ways to help prevent hearing loss with your kids.
“Hearing levels are measured in decibels.” “For example, whispering might be 30 decibels and I am talking now probably around 60 decibels, but as you get over 85 decibels, that’s when you can start having hearing loss issues.”
Some of the main culprits for temporary and permanent hearing loss are gunshots, fireworks, loud concerts, band class, and something that has become more prevalent in recent years – headphones and earbuds.
“The main thing is to realize the ear buds that go in your ears or even headphones, if they’re over 100 decibels, you are going to have some damage to your hearing.” “With the ones that go into your ear, you are introducing the sound more directly into the ear.”
So how can you prevent this type of permanent damage?
“Just the usual nagging your kids. If you can hear them, they are too loud. Suggest that they turn them down so that you atleast can’t hear them.”
Dr Scolaro also suggests making sure that your kids attend the school screenings to test their hearing abilities and making sure your kids wear foam ear buds when attending concerts or band practice. Furthermore, if you are wanting to know how loud things actually are, there is always an app for that on your smartphone.