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Hearing Loss in Children

The evidence gets stronger and stronger everyday.

Hearing loss among young people is becoming a serious national health emergency.

Right now, it’s estimated 5 million children and adolescents aged 6 to 19 years and millions more adults under the age of 40 have hearing loss related to exposure to loud noises. This type of of damage is called NIHL or noise induced hearing loss.

When the human ear is pelted with sounds that exceed 85 decibels for extended periods of time,sensitive tiny hairs in the inner ear can be damaged so they no longer convert sound into electrical impulses that travel to the brain that interpret those signals to sound.

Once these hairs are gone, they’re gone. And the resulting hearing loss is permanent.

Hearing loss in children could be avoided through lifestyle changes.Hearing loss in children could be avoided through lifestyle changes.

Listening to music through ear buds on a phone is a part of daily life for most teens.

Most ear buds, rock concerts, sporting events and even baby toys with sound, allow the user to turn up the sound to many decibels over 85. For example, ear buds which are placed by young people deep in the ear canal to listen to rock music can be turned up as high as 110 decibels.

Just to give you an idea how loud that is, the average conversation between two people is held at about 50 decibels. Street and traffic noise is heard at about 70 decibels. So 110 decibels is more than twice the noise level of a normal, everyday conversation.

The National Institute on Deafness, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Medical Association have all documented that prolonged exposure to noise at very high levels can cause permanent hearing damage and may be part of the reason more and more young people are experiencing hearing loss.

The City of New York is so concerned that it has launched a $250,000 public education campaign targeting young people through social media to be aware of what they may be doing to themselves when they turn the volume up too high.

The city’s Health Department says nearly one in six people who live in New York City report some kind of hearing loss. No wonder. The city has more loud noises going on everyday than almost any other in the U.S. And it’s not just kids wearing portable hearing devices listening to music that are affected.

A day in New York is filled with jackhammering, traffic noise, street and building construction sounds that can be heard 10 floors above street level.

When adults experience hearing loss from prolonged exposure to loud noises it makes life more complicated. But for a child growing up, the loss of normal hearing can interfere with the entire maturation process.

Not only will they need hearing aids or potentially cochlear implant surgery, children will need educational modifications so they can learn at the same level as kids with normal hearing. That can be anything from sitting at the front of the class to requesting closed captioning for all visual devices designed to teach subject material.

These accommodations are required under federal regulations designed to protect children with disabilities so every parent with child who has experienced hearing loss should be made aware of their rights.

By the time a child reaches the teenage years, hearing loss is more than a learning disability. There is a huge stigma attached to hearing loss among this age group.

Teenagers don’t want other members of their group to know they are experiencing hearing loss because they think it will interfere with their ability to make friends.

So the social challenges for all young people who’ve suffered hearing loss are staggering compared to older adults.

Then there is the cost. Medicaid programs in some states will cover the cost of hearing aids for children and teenagers. And some insurance companies will pay a portion of their cost.

But for the most part, parents of hearing impaired children are on their own, facing anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 for a single hearing aid for each ear.

However, there’s a good chance Ovation Hearing can help your child or teenager get fitted with good hearing aids at a fraction of the cost of most instruments. That’s because Ovation sells directly to the public with a 60 day money back guarantee. The company makes many different types of tubes, tips and styles of hearing aids that often can be modified to help children hear better.

Ovation recommends all children with potential hearing loss see an audiologist and get tested before they try to get fitted for any kind of hearing aids because kids who are hard of hearing are likely to have problems with language development and learning as they grow.

Ovation cannot guarantee a perfect fit, but the well trained caring staff will work closely with the families of children until the right combination of equipment provides a good fit. If that’s not possible, Ovation will gladly take the hearing aids back and offers a full refund.

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