Support your child in "Healthy Hearing!"

Maybe you also admonish your child now and then with the words "Can't you hear?", or "With you everything goes in one ear and out to the other?". Your child's supposed hearing loss can be attributed to normal childhood developmental stages. Still. But that can change. More ENT doctors warn that hearing loss in children and adolescents is on the increase.

This is not yet perceptible, but it can be shown with audiological tests.

Experts estimate that about ten percent of all young people are experiencing a hearing loss. The reason for this is that they expose themselves to long and loud noise levels. Sensory cells in the inner ear die off. And that's insane.

The ear is an organ of silence. It is designed to detect soft sounds. And that makes it in the most elegant way. First, the noises, rather their sound waves, are captured by the auricle. They are led over the ear canal to the eardrum. The vibrations are transmitted to the ossicles in the middle ear and amplified. From there, the amplified vibrations are transmitted to the sensory cells, which make electrical signals out of them and transmit them to the auditory nerve, which then transmits them to the brain. The most demanding work in hearing, apart from a transforming of signals in the brain, is thus carried out by sensory cells. They should be protected and not overtaxed.

We are overtaxing the sensory cells. This begins with the constant background noise caused by radio, television, street noise, noise at school and at work, department store sprinkling in the department store. As a result, the sensory cells can no longer recover. If loud music is added, the sensory cells are overloaded.

Dangerous for the ears from 80 decibels! Hearing damage is to be expected when a loud noise for minutes, a loud popping sound for fractions of a second, or loud music for several hours without allowing the ear to rest.

Loud music, as you know, your children and young people have more than enough. Discos, concerts, portable music devices such as the smartphone. In a discotheque, the average continuous sound level is 103 decibels. This sound dose corresponds to the exposure that an employee in a noisy workplace has to endure for a whole week.

Even children who do not yet listen to loud music are not protected against noise-related hearing damage. A trumpet already has peak values of 116 decibels, a whistle 127 decibels and the bang of a toy weapon 160 to 175 decibels. Such individual noise shocks, which include fireworks fired at the ear, can damage hearing for a lifetime in fractions of a second.

What can you do to save your children from later hearing loss?

Tell your children to be careful with their hearing! One possibility would be to go to a concert or disco with earplugs, for example. For such occasions, there is even a professional hearing protection that can be adapted to suit individual needs and does not distort the music. Explain to your children they will then hear something, but do it quietly. That would be a good birthday present, wouldn't it?

Explain to the children that there are different volumes in a disco and at a concert. The most dangerous sound spikes are radiated next to the speakers, so this space should be avoided.

Encourage the children to give their ears a rest. It is not only the sound level but also the duration of the sound that is decisive.

But please understand that when the children answer that only loud music is good for responding. Experience has shown that children and young people are also open to reasonable arguments. However, it is important that you as parents do not condemn loud music per se. Then the young people feel challenged to a protest position and turn the knob extra high. But you can agree on a compromise it doesn't have to be just loud music.

Copyright: Landeszentrale fuer Gesundheitsfoerderung in Rheinland-Pfalz e.V. (LZG) Germany