Is my child’s hearing OK?

Most of us don’t have to think twice about our hearing, but what about the possibility that our kids might be experiencing some hearing loss? Fortunately, nearly every baby born in a hospital in the United States is screened for proper hearing. In Wisconsin, 99 percent of babies are screened, according to the Wisconsin Sound Beginnings program. So thankfully, most parents know if their newborn requires further hearing testing and possible treatment.

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What? WHAT?

Teen Hearing DamageTeens, with earbuds jammed firmly into their ear canals, might not be hearing the message about loud music and hearing loss. Almost all adolescents have risky listening habits. What’s to blame? Loud music, either from those in-ear headphones (earbuds) or crowded clubs and loud concerts. All of this recreational loud noise can damage auditory nerves, which can lead to hearing impairment later in life (called noise-induced hearing loss). Why is this so important? This hearing impairment isn’t temporary. When the noise exposure is especially loud, regular or prolonged, there can be damage to the auditory nerve (the nerve that carries the electrical impulse to the brain) or the tiny hairs inside the cochlea (inner ear), and the hearing loss is then permanent.

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