Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Parents, particularly the parents of teenagers, are not as aware and vocal about the dangerous effects of prolonged exposure to loud music, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Penn State University. As a result, teens are at elevated risk of long-term hearing problems. More from Reuters:
One in eight American kids and teenagers – or more than 5 million – has a type of hearing loss that usually stems from overexposure to loud noises, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Parents can help prevent much of that hearing loss, the researchers said.
For the new study, they collected Internet survey responses from more than 700 parents of teenage children.
Almost 70 percent of the parents had not spoken with their child about noise exposure, mainly because they thought the actual risk of hearing damage was low.
But almost an equal number reported being willing to limit time listening to music and access to other excessively noisy situations to protect their teenager’s hearing, according to results published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.
On the whole, parents seemed willing to take steps to protect their kids, but often underestimated the risks of too much loud music.
“I think it just means that we have work to do in terms of raising awareness,” Sekhar said.
More educated parents and those with younger teens were most likely to be willing to take precautions with their kids, like limiting music time, limiting access to noisy situations or insisting on protective measures like earplugs.
Image: Teenager listening to loud music, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Women who smoke while they are pregnant may be putting their babies’ hearing at risk, among other health concerns associated with smoking, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology. More from USA Today:
Previously, prenatal smoking has been linked to negative consequences in children of all ages, including premature birth, low weight or underdevelopment and asthma. Now, a connection also has been made between smoking while pregnant and hearing loss in adolescents, according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology.
“Cigarette smoking is probably the worst man-made epidemic,” says Michael Weitzman, study author and a professor at the New York University School of Medicine.
In a group of 964 kids ranging in age from 12 to 15 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2005-2006, about 16% of parents confirmed prenatal smoke exposure. In most cases, kids with exposure were roughly three times more likely to have mild hearing loss. Kids without exposure also were found to hear better by three decibels in comparison with those who were exposed.
Image: Pregnant woman with cigarette, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011
Teenagers who live in a household where someone smokes cigarettes has an 83 percent greater chance of developing hearing loss, according to a study published in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. The findings build on previous research that has linked second-hand smoke exposure with respiratory problems, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and asthma.
As The Boston Globe reported:
The study authors, from New York University Lagone Medical Center, noted that teens aren’t routinely screened for hearing loss but that the finding may now warrant screening for those who are exposed to secondhand smoke.
“Health care providers (ie, physicians and nurse practitioners) should add SHS exposure to the list of risk factors for hearing loss and refer these young adults for complete audiologic evaluation to identify early hearing loss,” the researchers wrote, given that 82 percent of the study participants with hearing loss didn’t recognize that they were having difficulty hearing.
More recent news on smoking:
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