Children are always growing and developing and when it comes to their hearing, they are highly sensitive to sounds. Sound can provide engagement and entertainment and even help your child’s brain develop, but overexposure to loud sounds can prove to be detrimental to your child’s hearing.
Discovering how sound can damage your child’s hearing will enable you to prevent it.
The human ear is a very complex part of the body. There are two main parts- the inner ear and the outer ear- that assist with hearing and how we interpret sounds. Both the inner ear and the outer ear are lined with cilia- tiny, hair-like substances that vibrate based on the sound wave vibrations they encounter. The cilia will carry these sound wave vibrations to the brain for interpretation. This is how we hear and even the tiniest of sounds can be interpreted by the cilia in our ears.
It is when sound wave vibrations are too loud for our ears that we are at risk of permanent damage. When we are exposed to an overload of sounds, the cilia will cause a ringing in our ears. According to Better Hearing Institute, this ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus, can accompany sensorineural hearing loss.
Unfortunately, when our cilia become damaged, they will not be able to repair themselves. Since children are highly sensitive to hearing, they are more susceptible to receiving permanent damage to their cilia, and therefore, their hearing.
One of the major factors of protecting your child’s hearing is preventative care. Unlike most causes of hearing loss, preventative care can be under your control. As a parent, it is advised to be aware of what sounds your child is exposed to and for how long in order to successfully prevent hearing damage or even hearing loss in later years.
Noises in our everyday life can cause damage to your child’s hearing. This includes, but is not limited to:
These are just a few examples of sources of sound and excessive noises parents are recommended to monitor in an effort to prevent damage to your child’s hearing.
According to ENTNET.com, nearly 18 million Americans suffer from hearing loss, including 17 out of every 1000 children 18 and younger. While you cannot monitor your child 24/7 and protect their hearing from everyday life and sounds, you can employ the use of noise cancelling headphones.
Noise cancelling headphones can be used on children of any age, including babies. This can limit their exposure to an overload of sounds and reduce the risk of hearing damage and hearing loss in their later years.
Your child’s hearing is still developing and should be protected to prevent long term and permanent hearing loss. Take preventative measures as a parent to avoid exposing your child to excessive noises and sounds by monitoring their exposure and picking up a pair of noise cancelling headphones. What preventative measures do you use as a parent?
About the Author:
Sarah is the Editor of Headphone Selection. She loves all sound technology and firmly believes in the power of positive music.