Ask an Audiologist: 3 Tips to Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss in Your Child
If you’ve ever read the Hearing Solutions blog’s ‘Ask an Audiologist’ series it should be evident that hearing loss and its prevention are top of mind for many parents.
The burning question after a particularly loud outing to an event is could my child have suffered some hearing damage from being in a loud environment? Well, this answer includes three tips to keep in mind when you and your family attend an event like a music concert, sporting event or a party.
Ask an Audiologist
I’m concerned for my 8 month-old who I took to Disney on ice. I keep thinking that it was loud and I’m hoping his hearing is ok. We were in the arena for two hours but at times it was loud, except when they sang. Now I’m worried.
Thank you for your submission to Ask an Audiologist.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a result of damage to the inner ear upon exposure to very loud noises over a prolonged period of time. The sensitive structures of the inner ear are vulnerable in people of all ages, and exposure to harmful sound may cause temporary or permanent hearing impairment in both children and adults. According to the law in our area of Ontario, Canada allows for 2 hours up to 91 dB and even at that level, not all individuals will see measurable damage even over time, let alone a single exposure. The problem is that even if we damage a few cells per exposure, that damage adds up over time and cannot be measured or be undone. Long story short, I have a feeling that he’s just fine – but for some peace of mind, you might talk to his doctor about having his hearing tested by an Audiologist in your area.
For future events, there are some simple steps you can take to exercise caution when you expect to be around loud noise.
- You might consider investing in hearing protection for your son to ensure that his ears are protected. There are some on Amazon that you can check out here by Baby Banz.
- Also, you could download a sound level meter app on your smartphone and take an approximate reading of the decibel (loudness) levels in your environment. These apps are not 100% accurate, but a general rule of thumb is that sound levels of 85 dB or higher can cause damage to the auditory system. So they can give you some idea.
- Finally, reducing the distance between your son and the speakers whenever possible is another good way to be cautious.
I hope that this information is helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Hearing Solutions if you have any further questions.
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