Between the ages of 6 and 19, as many as 12.5 percent of American children have experienced some hearing loss.
Your Local Health | Written by BJ Towe
Between the ages of 6 and 19, as many as 12.5 percent of American children have experienced some hearing loss, says Garrett Losh, M.D., an Allergist and ENT physician with The Iowa Clinic. In adulthood (ages 20-69) the percentage rises to 15.
“One of the biggest suspected causes is noise-induced hearing loss,” Dr. Losh says. “Overexposure to noise is not only high volume, but also long duration.”
Today’s technology appears to be a major culprit, especially in young people. “Listening devices — iPads, smart phones, and other MP3 players— can easily run 10 or more hours. So kids listen to hours and hours of noise each day,” Losh says.
To Protect Hearing, Losh Recommends Headphones
- Avoid loud noise whenever possible.
- Turn down the volume of music systems. Most personal listening devices have an adjustable “volume limit” in the Settings menu.
- Move away from the source of loud sound whenever possible.
- Wear hearing protection devices.
Because there are many other potential causes for hearing loss, it’s important to see an ENT specialist or licensed audiologist for any type of hearing concern.
The Iowa Clinic ENT Department specializes in custom earmolds, great for: MP3 players, water protection and noise protection. Call (515) 875-9450 for more information.