Albuquerque doctor shares tips to prevent hearing loss | KOB 4

Albuquerque doctor shares tips to prevent hearing loss

Casey Torres
Updated: August 28, 2020 01:24 PM
Created: August 28, 2020 01:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An audiologist at the Livingston Hearing Aid Center is concerned with possible hearing loss for students using headphones and earbuds for online learning.

"If you want to be able to still be able to enjoy that music later on in life – you need to turn the music down,” said Dr. Haley Owen.

That applies, not only to music, but to the volume kids set their laptops to.

Dr. Owen said kids could gradually have hearing loss if they’re listening to more than 70 decibels (dB) frequently.

For an idea of what that is, here are some comparisons:

  • A whisper is 30 dB.
  • A conversation at normal talking lever is 60 dB.
  • Shouting reaches 110 dB and can cause immediate hearing loss if you yell into someone’s ear.

Some signs of hearing loss can be:

  • A child asking you to repeat yourself.
  • Their answers to your questions don’t add up because they can’t hear you well.
  • They complain about ringing or buzzing in their ears.

Dr. Owen says hearing loss is painless, so it’s important to keep an eye on your children and keep up with annual hearing examinations. Also, not all children realize they are losing their hearing because it might seem normal to them as their hearing is still developing.

She said noise induced hearing loss is 100% preventable, so hear her out.

“Apple products at 75% volume is 85 dB. So at 70% of the volume, you can withstand that for 8 hours and most likely be just fine,” she said.

She said some phones and computers allow you to set a volume cap that can only be changed with a password.

Also, try to have your children use headphones instead of earbuds. The audiologist explained earbuds go deeper into the ear canal getting close to the eardrum. That’s how earbuds can add six to nine more dB than headphones.

Dr. Owen recommends plenty of breaks. You can follow the 60/60 rule. Use 60% of the volume for a maximum of 60 minutes then take a break.

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