Newborn hearing screening is likely the most important public health initiative to ever occur within the field of hearing health. It has been known for decades that permanent hearing loss, which happens in at least three of every 1,000 babies born, in newborns is the most common birth condition.
The rate of hearing loss is about 10 times higher in babies who need specialized medical care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) because they have significant medical problems that put them at risk for developing a hearing loss. …
Hearing loss from exposure to loud noises is cumulative and irreversible; if such exposure starts in infancy, children can live half their lives with hearing loss.
Many parents wonder whether their child will suffer from permanent hearing damage due to continually listening to loud iPods and other MP3 players.
So parents all over Europe must have been both worried and relieved last month when the European Union (EU) substantiated their fears and issued new guidelines limiting volume settings and recommended exposure times to protect its citizens’ hearing.
The EU guidelines state:
- All makers of portable music players must lower their default volume setting from 100 decibels (dB, the sound of a jetliner) to 80 dB (the sound of road traffic)
- The default level can be overridden by consumers who choose to do so
- Manufacturers must add a health warning to all new devices within the next two years
- At 80 dB, exposure should be limited to 40 hours a week
- According to a BBC news report, these rules were framed in response to new research, which claimed that one in 10 users of portable music devices who listened at high volume for more than one hour per day over five years risked permanent hearing damage. …
Discovering that your child is deaf can be overwhelming—how will his language skills develop? How do you communicate? One increasingly common option is a cochlear implant. Between an external speech processor (roughly the size of a hearing aid) and an internal receiver (surgically implanted in a child’s inner ear), a cochlear implant can provide a child with the sensation of hearing. With 97 percent of deaf children born to hearing parents, this surgery can be life changing for the whole family. …