Your teenager may be ruining his or her hearing. A study published November 21, 2013 in JAMAOtolaryngology
showed that over 96 percent of parents surveyed did not appreciate the risk to
their teen’s hearing due to excessive noise exposure.
The risk is real
Data suggests that 1 out of 6 teens will experience hearing
loss in their lifetime due to excessive noise exposure. To make matters worse,
a study, conducted by Deepa L. Sekhar, MD, at Penn State Milton S. Hershey
Medical Centersurveyed over 700
parents of children 13 to 17 years old and found that nearly 70 percent of parents never talked to
their child about noise exposure and hearing risk.
The loudest noise exposures for teens seem to be personal
music devices (e.g., MP3 players), music concerts, and lawn mowers. Both the volume
of the sound, as well as the total duration of exposure, play a role in causing
hearing loss. Exposure to noise over 85 decibels (dB) can result in hearing
loss. Apparently, some MP3 players can attain 110dB, while lawn mowers can
How can you prevent
volume limiter on personal listening devices. Apparently, most of
these gadgets have this control, but teens rarely activate it.
Buy volume-limiting headphones for your teens.
Make sure that teens use earplugs when attending concerts or mowing
Don’t combine two loud activities (such as mowing a lawn while
listening to music through headphones).
Parents can help by discussing with teens the risks of
hearing loss and encouraging them to be aware and exercise some volume