Diana Bienvenu, Audiologist, Wangaratta Audiology
Most of us now understand that noisy workplaces and noisy leisure activities often produce noise at levels which can damage hearing permanently. Hearing protection will reduce the risk. Exposure to excessive levels of noise is cumulative, meaning that the damage increases with more exposure over time. So, what about hearing protection for children?
Unintentional exposure to excessively loud noise occurs for children even participating in the same activity as their parents. They should also be provided with hearing protection when needed. Earmuffs are a good solution for many activities. Smaller-sized earmuffs are available for children in bright colours. It is great to see young children using hearing protection. This can make a useful gift to a young grandchild at any age.
You may well be an unintentional model of hearing protection use (or non-use) for children who see you doing something noisy? This clinic encourages the use of earmuffs (rather than the more discrete earplugs) for activities when the neighbour’s children may observe you. This includes mowing the lawn and using other garden tools.
All guns, rifles and other firearms are loud enough to cause a hearing loss with a single shot. Recent research has demonstrated that there are permanent changes to the nerve cells which take the message from the ear to the brain. This can occur with just a single noise event. This research provides us with even more motivation to continue to promote hearing protection for young children.
Discuss hearing protection further with our audiologists on 5722 4433.