Friday, March 30, 2012

Noise Induced Hearing Loss in Children

I recently diagnosed a 12 year old boy with noise induced hearing loss equal to the hearing of a 6o year old factory worker.  His mom asked "How can my 12 year have been exposed to that much noise?"

Hearing loss can happen at any age or stage of life.  We are finding more and more children are damaging their hearing through exposure to loud sound.  Surprisingly, about 12 percent of children between the ages of 6–19 have noise-induced hearing loss.   Unfortunately, noise-induced hearing loss is usually permanent and it is preventable!  Loud sound damaged the fragile nerve endings called hair cells.  Once enough hair cells are damaged there is a loss of hearing.  That is why hearing protective measures are so important. 

Children today are exposed to loud sounds in many ways.  Here are just a few: noisy toys, sporting events, band class, motorbikes, yard and farm equipment, movie theaters, shop class, arcades, concerts, firearms, firecrackers and fireworks, power tools and MP3 players. 

There are steps you can take to protect your son from further damage.  First, think about his activities and see if you can determine where the noise exposure is coming from.  Does he use the MP3 player to cover up the sound of the lawn mower?  When used to cover a sound that is already too loud only increases the risk for damage.

There are three ways to prevent noise induced hearing loss: turn down the volume, use ear plugs or move away from the source of the sound.  Here are few examples.  When mowing the lawn use earplugs to decrease the volume of the mower.  When at a race track, sit further back, away from the track (you also need to wear earplugs or muffs).  Don’t use a music player set at more than ½ volume.

To help your son learn more about hearing, hearing loss, and hearing protection, check out  If he continues to be exposed to loud sounds, have regular hearing evaluations to monitor his hearing and hearing protection use.  

Life Sounds Great! Enjoy Every Moment!
Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA
Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave.
Mentor, Ohio 44060
Fax: 440-2050-9818


  1. Disturbance management has over the decades become far more technically innovative and efficient and these days, it's very possible to accomplish a higher level of noise decrease. It is quite typical that organizations end up over investing on commercial noise management and eventually not accomplish what they have set out to. This is usually due to a misdiagnosis to the resource of the noise issue and not implementing the appropriate remedy.
    noise reduction.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.