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How To Know If Your Baby Needs A Hearing Protection

Both infants and toddlers have vulnerable ears. Their hearing will develop rapidly within the first few years of their birth and if exposed to excessively loud noises this can cause permanent hearing damage. Below are some signs that your child needs baby hearing protection.

What Sounds is Too Loud?

A sound rating of eighty decibels is too high especially if a child is exposed to it for over 8 hours. To give you an idea of how loud this is, eighty decibels is the equivalent of a busy street. Beyond eighty decibels, the amount of time a person can spend in such an environment without permanently damaging their hearing is reduced by half, since the noise is louder.

So for instance, in an area with eighty-three decibels children will experience permanent hearing damage after 4 hours. However, any sound higher than 110 decibels is so high that it is instantly damaging, and is commonly made by power tools. Fireworks can achieve one hundred and fifty decibels.

Common Hearing Loss Signs in Babies

Here is a list of common signs that your baby may be experiencing hearing loss:

  • They turn their head upon seeing you, but not when their name is called
  • They are not startled by sudden noises
  • They don’t use words like “dada” or “mama” by one year of age
  • They can detect some sounds while ignoring others

If you notice any of these behaviors in your infant or toddler, you will want to take them to an audiologist to have their ear checked.

Types of Hearing Problems

The auditory system consists of bodily areas which are responsible for hearing. It interprets sound data as it is transmitted from ear to brain. Regions of a baby’s auditory system which can be affected by hearing loss include:

  • Inner ear: The cochlea can be found here, which consists of a fluid-filled curled tube with canals that assist with balance. This area also features nerves that will transform sound vibrations so they become signals which travel to one’s brain via an auditory nerve.
  • Middle ear: The middle ear can be found within the eardrum and consists of 3 miniature bones which are named ossicles. Sound which enters the ear will travel through its canal into its eardrum, which will cause vibration and ossicle This in turn will help transmit the sound inside one’s inner ear.
  • Outer ear: The outer ear is the region outside one’s head, beyond the eardrum. It is responsible for separating the middle ear from the outer ear.

How to Prevent Hearing Problems in Babies

The first thing mothers will want to do is get preconception checkups while pregnant. This will ensure that their baby is in a good state of health. You should also be checked for infections, including STIs because if you have them they could adversely affect the developing child.

The most important thing you must do after the baby is born is protected it from loud noises. Close windows and doors at home to minimize their sound exposure, keep the volume of televisions, radios or other electronics low and place earmuffs on the baby if taking them to loud environments such as concerts, fireworks shows or sporting events.
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