Hearing is a vital sense that we use to communicate, learn, and enjoy the world around us. Unfortunately, many teenagers are putting their hearing at risk by exposing themselves to high levels of noise without proper protection. This can lead to irreversible hearing damage and a lifetime of difficulties with communication and enjoyment of life.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can occur when we expose ourselves to high levels of noise over a prolonged period. This can cause physical damage to the hair cells in our inner ear, which is responsible for converting sound waves into electrical signals that our brain can understand. Once these hair cells are damaged or destroyed, they cannot be replaced, and this can result in permanent hearing loss.
It's not just exposure to loud music or concerts that can cause hearing damage. Everyday activities such as using headphones at high volumes, attending sports events, or using power tools can all put teenagers at risk.
Why It Is Important to Protect Your Kid from Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can have a severe impact on teenagers' lives. If left untreated for an extended period of time, hearing loss can make it challenging for your child to learn in school. Teenagers with hearing loss may miss important information in class, leading to poor academic performance and lower self-esteem. They may also experience social isolation if they find it difficult to communicate with their peers.
Signs of Teen Hearing Loss
As hearing loss is gradual, children experiencing it often don't notice the change until it's too late. Hence, it is important that parents carefully monitor their teen's behavior. If you notice your teen listens to the TV or radio at a higher volume or they have difficulty understanding your speech in a crowded or noisy environment, consider getting their hearing tested.
If your teenager kid has early onset of hearing loss, you can make habit adjustments to slow down the progression of hearing loss.
How Can Teenagers Protect Their Hearing?
Teens more than ever are at risk of hearing loss related to prolonged exposure to noise. Keep the following five tips in mind when it comes to protecting your child's hearing:
Limit exposure to loud noise:
Teenagers should try to limit their exposure to as much loud noise as possible. This can mean turning down the volume on headphones or avoiding excessively loud environments.
If your teen uses headphones often to listen to music, it's essential to establish boundaries to prevent hearing loss. Set the rule that your teen can only listen to music at 50 or 60 percent of the volume. Most headphones at 100 percent of the volume can reach 120 decibels, which is the equivalent of a loud rock concert.
If teenagers find themselves in a loud environment for an extended period, they should take regular breaks to give their ears a rest. This can help to reduce the amount of noise that their ears are exposed to and give their hair cells a chance to recover.
Wear earplugs or earmuffs:
While headphones are a prominent cause of hearing damage, they aren't the only cause. When attending loud concerts, sporting events, or using power tools, teenagers should wear earplugs or earmuffs to reduce the noise levels they are exposed to.
Therefore, invest in quality ear protection. There are many types of earplugs and earmuffs available, so it's important to find ones that are comfortable and fit well. Each earplug blocks a certain range of decibels, so be sure to choose an earplug suitable for the specific activity.
Use noise-canceling headphones:
Noise-cancelling headphones can help reduce the amount of external noise that teenagers are exposed to. This means that they can listen to music or watch videos at lower volumes, reducing the risk of hearing damage.
Finally, teenagers should feel comfortable speaking up if they find themselves in a loud environment where they are not adequately protected. For example, if the volume of music at a party is too loud, they should ask the host to turn it down.
Protecting our hearing is essential, and teenagers are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage due to their exposure to loud noise. It's essential that teenagers take steps to protect their hearing now to avoid the lifelong consequences of hearing loss.
By wearing earplugs or earmuffs, limiting exposure to loud noise, taking breaks, using noise-cancelling headphones, and speaking up when necessary, teenagers can help to protect their hearing and enjoy a lifetime of good communication.