The Gift of Better Hearing

At Sound Hearing Solutions, we believe in what we do.  Every day we strive to provide our patients with the best that hearing healthcare has to offer, because they deserve it.  We also believe that the best way to treat hearing loss is to prevent it, and that begins with our children.

No doubt that many youngsters will find one or more electronic devices under their Christmas tree this year.  Mp3 players, tablet computers, handheld gaming systems, and other electronic wonders are probably on the top of many children’s Christmas wish-lists.  These devices can offer many wonderful entertainment and educational opportunities, but when it comes to the sound they produce, steps should be taken to protect the little ears that will be listening to them. 

If a child you know will be using headphones or ear-buds to listen to the latest hit single or thrilling video game, it is important to ensure that they are keeping the volume down to a reasonable level.  When talking about noise-induced hearing loss, there are two main variables to consider: how loud the sound is, and the duration of the listener’s exposure to it.  Generally speaking, sounds at 75 decibels or less are unlikely to cause hearing loss even after long exposure.  Long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.  It is important to keep in mind that the louder the noise, the less time it takes for damage to occur.

That means parents and supervisors of children need to monitor their child’s use of these products to ensure that they keep them at a reasonable level and that they take frequent breaks, around every hour or so.  You should also consider what products the child is using.  Wirecutter, a product recommendation website, recently conducted an investigation and analysis of products marketed to the listening needs of children.  Despite manufacturer claims that the headphones limited volume to 85 decibels, the study found that nearly one-third of the headphones tested could exceed that limit.  With that in mind, they provided a list of products that their testing indicated did provide reasonable volume limitations to assist parents and caregivers in protecting their child’s hearing.  You can view the full list and read more about the testing methods utilized by clicking the links below.

 

Sources:

“The Best Headphones for Kids” – Lauren Dragan, Wirecutter.com

“Children’s Headphones May Cary Risk of Hearing Loss” - Catherine Saint Louis, NYTimes.com