|Do you hear what I hear? A look at NIHL|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 09:39|
Due to the increased use of earbuds, adolescent hearing loss is up 5 percent over the last decade, which now affects 20 percent of U.S. adolescents ages 12 to 19, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. It's no surprise the increase in popular portable digital media player ownership from 18 percent to 76 percent over the past five years, along with frequent use at loud volumes, has contributed to young people losing their hearing.
"Since hearing loss in children and teens is on the rise, it is important for adults to play an active role in prevention and seek out methods to minimize hearing loss, such as understanding safe volume levels," says Michelle Atkinson, vice president of Energizer North America Marketing.
Noise induced hearing loss is caused by exposure to loud sounds and usually occurs gradually over time, according to the Better Hearing Institute. Since this form of hearing loss is painless and invisible, it would be difficult to detect the problem in children and grandchildren. But, there are things to help prevent NIHL.
Safe listening tips
• Turn it down. Get into the habit of listening to the TV, radio and personal audio devices at a softer level.
• Get high-quality earbuds with noise cancelation or sound isolation.
• Use 60 percent of a device's volume for no more than 60 minutes at a time, since the longer the duration of exposure, the greater the risk.
• Download a noise meter app to determine the sound levels.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact a physician and ask for their referral on a specialist:
• Lack of hearing starts to interfere with normal way of life.
• Trouble understanding people on the phone.
• You have a hard time following conversations when people speak at the same time.
• You misunderstand others when they are talking to you.
• Family and friends complain the volume is too loud on the TV or radio.
(Courtesy of ARA Content.)
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