Worried about ‘Sense of Hearing’ in our younger Generations

hearing loss I can say I’m personally worried about the sense of hearing in our younger generations. How many young children and or young adults, do you see on a regular basis wearing “ear candy” while listening to their I-pods and which you can hear while standing next to them without ear candy? I have personally listened to the I-pods of my own children and grandchildren, only to be literally “blown away” from the decibel levels of the music they were listening to. The American Academy of Audiology states that ‘approximately 12% of all children and/or young adults, ages 6-19, have noise-induced hearing loss.’

The difficult part of educating young adults and children about the effects of noise levels on their hearing, is that a lot of them already have some hearing damage and there’s really no way to prove this, without them undergoing a hearing exam. There is a tendency to shirk off the older generation’s and/or parents’ comments when you’re young, which is more normal than not, but on the other hand, it is our parental responsibility to try to protect our children from themselves and/or the environment in which they live in.

There is a so much external noise stimuli occurring in today’s world and even more noticeable in cities or large suburban areas. In addition, there is the noise from routine television watching as well as I-pods or other such devices. The Fact sheet published by The American Academy of Audiology states that “noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85dB. The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB).”

The fact sheet listed several typical noises we commonly incur. In our homes, “normal conversations or dishwasher noise is around 60dB, Alarm clocks 80dB, Hair dryers, Blenders and Lawnmowers 90dB, MP3 players at full volume 100dB, Concerts (any music genre), car racing and sporting events 110dB, Jet planes at take off 120dB, Ambulances and fire engine sirens 130dB and Gunshots, fireworks and custom car stereos at full volume 140dB.”The American Academy of Audiology Fact sheet also listed childhood noise risks; noisy toys, sporting events, Band class, Motorbikes, Farm Equipment, Movie theaters, Shop class, Arcades, Concerts, Firearms, Fireworks, Power Tools and MP3 players.

“Noise-Induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in our inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss.” The society’s primary focus is that permanent hearing loss is preventable.

Hearing can be protected by “wearing proper hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs) when in noisy environments, teaching children to turn down the volume as well as to walk away from loud noise.” Wiki answers state that it takes approximately (depending on the person) 30-40 repetitions or 21 days, to create and/or change a habit. When you consider that hearing is crucial for one’s entire lifespan and realize that most of these devices that cause hearing loss or permanent damage, will also be on their way to becoming extinct within the same time frame– what would be your choice for children?



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