Hearing loss is more common than most people think, and the numbers are steadily rising each year. In fact, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, in the past 30 years the number of Americans over the age of 13 suffering from hearing loss has doubled.
While a small portion of children are born with congenital hearing loss, more than 14 percent of American children have low-frequency or high-frequency hearing loss. The damage causing loss of hearing can come from a variety of sources, some widely known and others hidden in seemingly innocuous places.
Hearing loss causes
One of the most common culprits of hearing loss in children is illness. Otis media, or fluid build up in the middle ear, often caused by ear infections, is something most parents are aware carries a risk of hearing damage. But you may be surprised to know there are several other childhood illnesses that can contribute to hearing loss including measles, chicken pox and Influenza.
While head injuries are always alarming, the possibility of hearing loss is one of the outcomes of a head injury that usually evades parents. Be sure to always have your child wear a helmet when participating in outdoor activities like skateboarding, bike or dirt bike riding, and even scootering. When playing on a play-set in a park or even a backyard make sure the equipment is in safe working order and the ground is covered properly with sand, wood chips, grass or rubber.
Is noise pollution harmful?
Lastly, noise exposure is an inherent risk for people of all ages, but especially children. Concerts and construction noise have always been on the radar as far as their effects on one’s hearing, but noise exposure is coming from new sources now.
In this new age of technology right at our fingertips, many parents are worried about the lack of exercise their children are suffering. Yet, very few parents stop to think about the damage that can be done to their child’s ears from excessively loud music blasting through the convenient little pods tucked into their ear canals.
Many handheld devices have settings in which you can control the maximum volume allowed, which can be a simple solution. For younger children, there are headphones that do not exceed a specific volume as well.
With these hidden hearing damage dangers always in our midst, keep an attentive eye on your child and watch for symptoms including inattentiveness, watching television or listening to music louder than usual, and misunderstanding directions. If you think your child may be suffering from hearing loss, be sure to consult your doctor immediately.