Deafness used to be associated with aging, until music players started getting personal. Father of two Brent Brocker frequently carried a tune.
“The old Walkman used to have the foam ears and that’s what I grew up wearing,” says Brocker.
But times have changed and so has technology, intensifying the listening experience, and blasting ears in the process. The MP3 generation is already losing their senses.
“There was a study that shows that 12% of kids between the age of 6 and 19 years of age having hearing loss and its suspected because of the MP3 generation, the iPod generation, listening to music at loud volumes,” says Dr. Pierre Loredo, who is a pediatrician with Lee Memorial Health System.
We’ve turned into a headphone society- using headsets and ear buds to listen to music, play video games, talk on the phone even drown out other noises. For each five decibel increase in volume, you lessen the amount of time you can safely listen. The recommended threshold is 85.
“When you get 105 decibels this is where after you’ve been doing it for 30-35 minutes you actually do have some damage to your hearing,” says Dr. Loredo.
The CDC lists signs of noise induced hearing loss, including: muffled hearing, difficulty distinguishing sounds such as telephones or doorbells, trouble understanding phone conversations and constantly turning up the TV volume. Any of these require a sound check.
“I don’t allow them to go over half the volume. If they can’t hear it then they’re going to have to unplug it,” says Brocker.
“If you can hear the music that means it’s way too loud,” says Dr. Loredo.
Tuning into your child’s listening habits may help them hang on to their senses.
View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/
Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.