Facts about hearing loss in children

About 12 per cent of all children aged 6-19 have noise-induced hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent and is almost always preventable.

Hearing loss can happen at any age. A growing number of teens and kids are damaging their hearing by prolonged exposure to loud noise.

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.

Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85 decibels (dB).

Here are some examples of how loud every day sounds can be.

60 dB Normal conversations or dishwashers

80 dB Alarm clocks

90 dB Hair Dryers, blenders, and lawnmowers

100 dB MP3 players at full volume

110 dB Concerts (any music genre), car racing, and sporting events

120 dB Jet planes at take off

130 dB Ambulances

140 dB Gun shots, fireworks, and custom car stereos at full volume

How to protect your child’s hearing:

Have them wear the proper hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs) when in noisy environments (concerts, sporting events, fireworks displays, car races). Hearing protection come in a variety of sizes and textures to provide optimum fit.

Custom-made earplugs can be obtained from an audiologist.

Turn down the volume. (Visit www.TurnItToTheLeft.com)

Walk away from loud noise.

Childhood noise risks include: noisy toys, sporting events, bandclass, motorbikes, farm equipment, movie theatres, shop class, arcades, concerts, firearms, firecrackers, fireworks, power tools and MP3 players.

If you think your child may have a hearing loss, set up an appointment with an audiologist.

Information supplied by Cayman Hearing Center, Ltd.