‘Tis the season for fireworks, concerts and other exposure to loud noises!
Before you crank up the volume on summer fun, check out this advice about protecting your child’s precious hearing from Alicia Moore, AuD, a Board Certified audiologist with Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group on the Northshore.
Risks and Symptoms
Risks to children’s hearing from loud noise exposure, including fireworks, are essentially the same as what to look out for after they’ve been exposed to loud noise:
- ringing in the ear (tinnitus),
- sensitivity to loud sounds (hyperacusis) and
- hearing loss, which may be temporary or permanent.
Types of Hearing Protection
The best treatment for loud noise exposure is prevention. Everyone should use hearing protection regardless of their age.
Infants do best with earmuffs that are designed for hearing protection. All other ages, toddlers through teens, can use either good fitting earplugs designed for hearing protection or earmuffs designed for hearing protection.
All hearing protection devices will have a noise protection rating (NRR) on the package. The higher the number, the more protection it provides.
Check the protective earmuffs or earplugs to ensure they fit securely. Parents should choose an NRR rating that provides enough noise protection.
Rest and Recovery
A quiet and peaceful environment can give ears time to rest and recover. Avoid further exposure to loud noises while hearing returns to normal.