Digital Age Destruction: Technology's role in children's hearing loss

May 05, 2016

A new survey conducted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association finds that teens and parents both average five hours a day on personal tech devices outside of school and work hours.

The survey also suggests that how loud kids listen to their gadgets could play a big role in hearing loss.

Jessica Lockhart is an audiologist at the Columbus Speech and Hearing Center and has seen what unlimited access to technology can do to kids’ hearing.

“We see a lot of younger clients having problems with their hearing; a lot of those problems are linked to noise," Lockhart explained. "These devices can get so loud that it can be damaging kids’ hearing over time. The general rule of thumb is, no more than 50 percent of volume when listening to devices. “Parents put sunscreen on their kids to protect them from the sun, make them brush their teeth…they need to pay attention to how loud their music is."

Sharing earbuds could be dangerous to people’s health as well.

“Germs are in our ears and you can introduce infection by sharing your earbuds with someone else. You wouldn’t share your toothbrush and you shouldn’t share your earbuds either,” Lockhart said.

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