Earbuds and Headphones Linked to Hearing Loss in Kids

Researchers from Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands, studied hearing test results from 3,316 children ages 9-11. The findings were published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. The results showed that children listening to music with earbuds and headphones may significantly increase their risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
Data from parent questionnaires about hearing complaints from their children, was also used. They were asked how frequent their children used these devices and how high the children set the volume. The results showed that 14.2% of the children had some degree of high-frequency hearing loss.
Children using earbuds and headphones just one or two days a week, no matter how high or how low, were more than twice as likely to have hearing loss than children who did not use these devices.
Lead author Carlijn le Clercq of Erasmus University Medical Center concludes, “Although we cannot conclude from this study that music players caused these hearing losses, it shows that music exposure might influence hearing at a young age.”

The ASHA Leader
September 2018

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