The American Academy of Audiology dedicated the month of October to be National Audiology Awareness Month, a time for promoting public awareness and the importance of hearing protection. It’s a time to evaluate our hearing practices and learn what we can do to keep our hearing at optimal levels. Let’s find out the potential hazards to our hearing and how to prevent them.
Ways We Can Damage Our Hearing
- Cotton Buds
The old rule of not putting anything smaller than your elbow in your ear still applies. Using small items to clean the ear is risky because you risk puncturing the eardrum and causing hearing loss.
Some substances in cigarettes can cause hearing damage or loss of balance. Both direct and indirect exposure and even exposure while in the uterus can affect hearing.
Repeated loud listening can cause hearing damage because the hair cells in the cochlea can bend too much, causing irreversible damage.
Ways to Protect Children Hearing
Most adults know how they prevent hearing damage, such as by avoiding loud noises, listening to earphones no more than an hour in a day, etc., but how can we protect children’s hearing?
- Teach Safe Listening
Teach your kids to listen to devices at half the volume and to take breaks from listening to loud volumes.
- Choose Devices Wisely
Buy devices like earphones with a noise-canceling feature. Also, buy headphones that fit the child well to prevent sound from leaking.
- Check Your List
Before buying a toy for your kid, check the Sights and Hearing Association Noise Study, and find whether any toys listed are on your child’s toy shopping list.
- Check Before Buying
Before buying a toy, check to find whether it has tolerable or acceptable noise levels. This is important especially because kids like to bring things close to their face and ears.
- Use Hearing Protection
If you’re going to an event that will have loud volumes, consider bringing earplugs or earmuffs.
- Give Loud Noises a Wide Berth
Keep children away from all loud noises, such as speakers, construction sites, and fireworks.
How Can I Observe The National Audiology Awareness Month?
There is no better way to observe National Audiology Awareness Month than to get you and your family’s hearing tested. Most hearing defects can be addressed if caught early, so contact Roanoke Valley ENT and Allergy to schedule an appointment and get you and your children’s hearing screened and evaluated.