Thursday, July 12, 2012

Talk Into My Good Ear

From the desk of Nurse Practitioner Kim Gubbins:
Kimberly Gubbins, CPNP
It is a known fact that hearing loss is increasing in the United States. It is also a known fact that the popularity of ipods, MP3 players and cell phones that play music (with the use of earphones) have increased dramatically in the recent years. 

The Hearing Alliance of America stated that "15% of college graduates have a level of hearing loss equal to or greater than their parents, which is considered to be caused mainly by listening to high-volume music." 

To make you aware of how serious this problem is, let me make you aware of how loud the music really does sound and blast into their ears.  Normal earphones for example that come with a CD player/ipod/MP3 player usually allow sounds up to 100-120 decibels. Listening to music at 120 decibels is equivalent to a loud rock concert and can cause damage after only 7 minutes of listening. Listening at a rate of 100 decibels can cause damage after 2 hours which seems like a great improvement although most ipods fully charged can play for up to 20 hours.  

In order to keep your children's ears safe:
1. Make them aware of the danger and the possibility of damaging their hearing for life!
2. Have them use sound limiting headphones/ear buds. These special ear buds limit sounds to 80 decibels.

Multiple manufacturers make sound limiting earphones for children. Examples include: KidzSafe Earbuds and Ultimate Ears Loud Enough Volume Limiting Earphones. Both can be found when searched on Google and range from $15-$20. Local ear, nose and throat offices also carry these items.  

Resources:

American Academy of Pediatrics Publications: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/123/5/1257.full



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