Parental warnings about the dangers of loud music are nothing new. In the past, booming sound emanating from speakers at concerts, car stereos, and ‘boom boxes’ were seen as the primary cause of hearing problems such as tinnitus and/or hearing loss. Today, kids (and adults) who stream music, videos, and movies directly from their smartphones to their ears via earbuds, may be causing greater damage to their hearing. It’s a double whammy, according to experts. Because sound is delivered directly to the ear canal via earbuds and because there’s seemingly no limit to the availability of streamable content, there is more opportunity for high-frequency hearing loss.
But what can parents do to mediate the effects of hearing loss now that earbuds are ubiquitous among the younger generation?
Earbud Safety Tips
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in a press release from health news source HealthDay, recommends the following:
- Encourage your child to pull out their earbuds after an hour of listening to “take a break.”
- To ensure that music isn’t too loud, make sure that kids can hear what’s going on around them while listening, and are able to talk to others.
- Keep the sound at about 60% of maximum volume.
- Ask people around you if they can hear your music. If they can, your hearing may be affected, so turn it down!
How can you tell if you have hearing loss? According to an article on earbuds on The Nemours Foundation website, signs of hearing loss include ringing, buzzing, or roaring in your ears after hearing loud noise; or muffling/distortion of sounds. The Foundation recommends seeing a doctor if you have symptoms of hearing loss. If the doctor suspects a problem, he or she may send you to an audiologist for further testing and diagnosis.
What happens if you need treatment? In some cases, your hearing treatment plan may not be covered by insurance. That’s where CareCredit comes into play. Rather than having to front the entire out-of-pocket cost, CareCredit offers a financing option that allows you to spread payments out over time. This gives you one less thing to worry about.
This content is provided to the 4MyHearingBiz community by CareCredit and also adapted from information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, HealthDay, and The Nemours Foundation.