Portable Music Players Tied to Hearing Loss in Kids

Portable Music Players Tied to Hearing Loss in Kids

Prolonged and persistent use of headphones for listening to music or other audio is being shown to increase the risk of experiencing hearing loss. A new study of Dutch children looked at children aged nine to eleven, correlating their use of portable audio devices with headphones or earbuds, their normal volume settings, and their ability to hear without impairment. The findings showed nearly fifteen percent of children had at least some loss of hearing, especially in the higher frequencies. This kind of hearing loss is usually caused by exposure to noise at a damaging volume. Even moderate use of the audio devices, as little as only one or two days a week, was linked to problems with hearing compared to children who did not listen to audio on those types of devices.

Hearing loss is irreversible. The study’s authors point out that hearing loss at such a young age will have effects for decades and decades in most cases. Over ninety percent of children listen to portable audio devices regularly, so there could be a lot of missed conversations in their futures. The research points to the need for parents to monitor their children and ensure they’re not doing permanent damage to their hearing while using portable audio devices. Usage might need to be limited, and volume restrictions should certainly be imposed.

Key Points:

  • 1Researchers looked at hearing tests for thousands of young children and found that those using headphones are at greater risk for hearing loss.
  • 2High frequency hearing loss is often caused by noise exposure, and is irreversable.
  • 3Parents should be aware of all types of noise exposure, and should provide hearing protection for their children.


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