A recent poll of parents found that over 80% say they are concerned that misuse of personal audio technology is damaging the hearing of children. Hearing loss can result from too much exposure to sound from any source that is above 85 decibels. Many new technologies such as stereo systems, handheld listening devices and even televisions can produce sound well above the level to be able to cause damage.
What is Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss can be either a sudden or a gradual decrease in your ability to hear. Depending on the cause it can either be mild or severe and temporary or permanent. Many individuals who have hearing loss may not even realize it because it happens gradually over time.
How Do I know if I’m Experiencing Hearing Loss
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms you should contact a doctor. Common symptoms may include:
- Feeling as if your ear is plugged, similar to having water in your ear.
- Difficulty listening to things in your environment such as individuals speaking, a radio or television.
- If you notice that you tend to listen to the television or a stereo at a higher volume then you previously used to.
If these symptoms are left unchecked they can lead to more severe symptoms and conditions such as:
- Ringing of the ears, known as Tinnitus
- Any uncomfortable feelings from irritation to severe pain
- Symptoms of Vertigo (feelings as if your surroundings are spinning)
How to Prevent Hearing Loss
Follow these basic steps to avoid and damage to your ears:
- Avoid loud noises in your environment such as motorcycles, loud music, or industrial machines.
- When you cannot avoid loud noises in your environment, make sure to wear hearing protection.
- Lower the volume of what you listen to.
- Limit the amount of time that you spend listening to music or television.
- Wear headphones that go completely around or deep inside the ear in order to limit outside noise. By limiting outside sounds it will reduce the need to increase the volume of what you are listening to.