This post was last updated on October 17th, 2022 at 09:30 am
Hearing plays a vital role in children’s learning and social development. It affects how children respond to speech and the way they connect with others. In addition, hearing can impact how children communicate emotionally and intellectually.
However, in an era where high noise levels due to recreational activities can put kids’ hearing at significant risk, hearing aids, ear plugs, and other hearing protection are of utmost importance. According to a report, 12.5% of children have suffered permanent damage to their hearing due to excessive exposure to noise.
The use of hearing aids doesn’t just apply to kids only, but it is also helpful for adults. Not all noise is harmful, but it is crucial for you to understand that there are risks attached to loud noise and to put into place the necessary preventive measures.
Find below five essential tips to protect your child’s hearing:
1. Use Hearing Protection
One primary way to protect your child’s hearing is to use hearing aids in a lousy environment. When your child is attending any event with a vast potential of being noisy, you should use hearing protection for that child. Foam earplugs and decibels lowering earmuffs are effective at protecting your child’s ears while still ensuring the ability to hear. Both of you need hearing protection for your safety and well-being.
Controlling the volume of your child’s devices has also proven to be an effective way of protecting your child’s hearing. Most home electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and personal computers come with settings that enable you to reduce and restrict the volume. It is essential for you not to exceed the required volume indicated on the device.
2. Treat the Symptoms
One of the symptoms of a hearing condition is tinnitus, where the patient hears a ringing or constant buzzing in their ears. Regular exposure to loud noise is one of the causes of tinnitus. However, patients with hearing condition tinnitus reportedly found relief using cannabinoids, according to a report. The research found that the anti-inflammatory effect of cannabinoids such as CBD may help with the side effects of tinnitus. THC oil, however, is only recommended for adults. So before you start the cannabinoid journey, ensure to speak to an expert.
3. Purchase Quality Headphones
Another effective way of ensuring your child’s hearing is to purchase quality headphones. Research has found that loud music damages the cells which send auditory signals to your brain. Headphones with the correct settings and technology can limit the volume of sound to a great extent. For instance, noise canceling (ANC) headphones can reduce the volume at which the child listens to media content. Loud music damages the cells which help send auditory signals to your brain. The lower the music volume, the less potential damage to those cells. You can also buy headphones that do not play at a volume risky to their ears.
4. Be Conscious of Your Child Activities
Monitoring your child’s activities can also go a long way in protecting their hearing. You can take a deliberate action to keep a close eye on the amount of time they spend playing video games or listening to loud music. Assisting your children in avoiding lousy or noisy areas or environments is one of the best things you can do to protect their hearing.
5. Lay A Good Example
You can set a good example for your children by also using hearing protection in lousy or noisy surroundings. When you take precautions regularly, your child will also learn this habit and gradually imitate you. When attending an outdoor event, you can wear earplugs and earmuffs to protect your ears. When your child sees you doing this regularly, they will become less resistant when asked to do so.
Other Common Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
Besides noise, there are various causes of hearing loss in children. Some of these common causes are listed below:
Otitis Media is an inflammation in the middle part of the ear, which is behind the eardrum, associated with fluid building up. Otitis media comes with diverse symptoms such as fever, pain, and the ejection of a fluid-like material. It is primarily diagnosed in infants and kids. When Otitis media occurs frequently, it can damage the eardrum or the bones and nerves of the ear, which could cause permanent hearing loss.
Preventive measures include:
- Avoid exposure of the infant to household tobacco smoke.
- Using household daycare for infants and toddlers.
Congenital hearing loss means a hearing loss that occurs at birth. This may be due to hereditary or other factors that are present in prenatal or during delivery. Some other causes of congenital hearing loss that are not congenital include infection, illness, and toxins consumed by the mother during pregnancy.
Genetic factors are the major causes of congenital hearing loss in children. This genetic hearing loss may be autosomal dominant, recessive or X linked.
Autosomal: In the autosomal dominant hearing loss, one of the parents carries the dominant gene for hearing loss and passes it to the child. In this type of situation, there is a huge possibility that the child will also have hearing loss. The probability tends to increase if both parents have the dominant gene or if both grandparents on one side of the family have hearing loss due to genetic factors. Since one of the child’s parents has hearing loss, it is always possible that the child might also have it.
X-linked hearing loss: In this type of hearing impairment, the mother hosts the recessive trait for hearing loss on the sex chromosome and transfers it to the male, not the female.
Prevention of these genetic hearing loss conditions is possible through prenatal and prepregnancy testing and counseling. If you have a history of hearing loss in your or your partner’s family tree, it’s crucial to inform your physician or counselor.
Acquired hearing impairment is a hearing loss that happens after birth or during one’s life, which might result from disease, a condition, or an injury. Some of the conditions that may lead to acquired hearing loss in children are;
- Ear infections (otitis media)
- Ototoxic (damaging to the auditory system) drugs
- Head injury
- Noise exposure
Hearing loss is common in children nowadays, and it is crucial for you as a parent to ensure your child doesn’t suffer. Some causes of hearing loss can easily be prevented by using hearing protection. Other reasons require consultation with medical professionals. If you notice any hearing impairment in your child, consult your physician immediately.