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Hearing loss prevention
Just because hearing loss is common doesn’t mean everyone is destined to be affected by it. There are many ways to prevent hearing loss or stop it from getting worse.
Noise-induced hearing loss is very common and many adult cases of hearing loss are due to noise exposure. Some noisy occupations can increase your risk of developing hearing loss. This cause of hearing loss is the easiest type to prevent by limiting exposure to loud noise and wearing hearing protection.
Hearing protection generally comes in the form of earplugs, earmuffs or noise-cancelling headphones. Earplugs are made of acoustically impenetrable materials. When sized correctly and inserted into the ear, they can provide a good deal of hearing protection.
Earmuffs or noise-cancellation earphones are others options for hearing protection. These devices offer greater protection against prolonged or higher levels of noise. These devices work by covering the entire ear to block or cancel out loud noises.
Hearing loss is harmful for people of all ages, but for children, it has special implications. Because babies and young children need to hear in order to develop language, good hearing is the foundation for spoken communication, social development and educational success.
Most hospitals screen every newborn for potential hearing loss. Those infants identified by the screening are referred for further testing to confirm the presence of hearing loss and gather more information so decisions can be made regarding intervention.
If your child has a hearing loss, you are encouraged to talk with a pediatric audiologist. Pediatric audiology is a specialized field of professionals dedicated to the specific needs of babies and children with hearing loss.
Hearing loss in children can be caused by congenital factors, head trauma, medications, childhood illnesses, persistent middle ear infections, deformities of the ear canal or malfunctioning eardrums. Treatment of childhood hearing loss depends largely on the underlying cause. Identification of hearing loss and intervention prior to 6 months of age has been shown to dramatically improve outcomes for kids.