Today’s Parent Tip of the Week is courtesy
of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Holidays are made for fun! People of all ages can enjoy the sights and sounds of fireworks – with some preventative tips in mind.
According to the National Center of Disease Statistics, 5.2 million children between the ages of 6-19 years have hearing loss directly related to noise exposure. Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is permanent, but preventable.
Facts About Noise
Although the definition of “noise” may be interpreted on a personal basis, it can be described simply as unwanted sound. Unwanted sound, or noise, can result in hearing loss, which is known as noise-induced hearing loss. NIHL can be instantaneous and caused by just one single exposure to a very loud sound (like a firecracker or gunshot). NIHL also can be caused by cumulative exposure to loud sounds which gradually build over time to cause the hearing loss.
So, even though hearing loss due to loud sound may not always be evident immediately, NIHL may be present later, in the teenage years or adulthood. Any reduction in the overall lifetime noise “dose” will be good for hearing in later years.
- Noise is one of the leading causes of hearing loss
- Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but preventable
- Continuous exposure to noise can lead to physiological changes in blood pressure, sleep, digestion and other stress-related disorders
- Noise-induced hearing loss typically occurs gradually and without pain
- Continued exposure to noise above 85 decibels will eventually harm one’s hearing
- In general, the louder the sound, the less time required before damage occurs
How to Protect Your Hearing
- Limit time of exposure
- Limit overall loudness
- Look for loudness limiting parental controls in devices
- Limit noisy toys or remove the batteries
- If someone is arm’s reach away and can hear your music, it is too loud
- In noisy places, If you have to raise your voice to be heard, it is too loud
- Sound that causes ringing in the ears or a temporary reduction in hearing is too loud
- Use earplugs or muffs when operating a lawnmower, snow blower or leaf blower
- ALWAYS use hearing protection when you are exposed to sudden loud noises such as fireworks or airplane engines
What should you do if you suspect a NIHL? The audiologists at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center can assess your hearing to determine if a loss is present and make recommendations regarding hearing protection and conservation, including customized noise earplugs. To schedule an appointment with an audiologist, please contact us at 216-231-8787.