Children are sponges, absorbing information from their parents, teachers and peers. Life lessons such as how to safely cross the street or never talk to strangers can save their life. Passing along information about the causes of noise-induced hearing loss and ways to prevent it can protect their hearing health for years to come.
What Is Noise-Induced Hearing Loss?
Within the inner ear are delicate hair cells that are responsible for converting sound vibrations into electrical impulses. These impulses are sent via the auditory nerve to the brain where they are interpreted as sound.
Sounds are measured in decibels (dB). Anything louder than 85 dB can cause damage to these delicate hair cells. Unlike other hair on your body, any damage to these hair cells is permanent. This damage leads to noise-induced hearing loss.
Understanding which noises are unsafe can help you protect your hearing. Below is a list put together by the University of Rochester Medical Center of the decibel ratings for common sounds.
- 30 dB – whispering
- 60 dB – normal conversation
- 80 dB – kitchen appliances
- 90 dB – motorcycle
- 110 dB – music from smartphone set at loudest level
- 120 dB – siren
- 140 dB – fireworks within three feet
Common noise-induced hearing loss symptoms include trouble hearing sounds that are soft or faint, feeling like conversations sounds muffled or unclear, or hearing a ringing or buzzing in the ear, which is also known as tinnitus.
How Children Can Protect Their Hearing
The best way to avoid developing noise-induced hearing loss is through prevention. Experts recommend teaching your kids these three simple ways to protect their hearing health:
- Lower the volume.
- Move away from the sound source.
- Wearing earplugs or other hearing protection.
Raise Hearing Loss Awareness
Whether you work for Round Rock Schools or have a child enrolled in one of their many schools, it is important to help raise hearing loss awareness. You can do this by:
- Encouraging children to measure the noise level of various parts of their school with a decibel meter.
- Explaining how hearing works and reviewing the anatomy of the ear.
- Promoting healthy hearing habits online.
To learn more about helping your child protect their hearing for years to come or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, contact Tejas Hearing Aid Center today.