Even if a child doesn’t show signs of hearing damage now, continued noise exposure can catch up with them later in life.

The Reason behind the Alarming Rise of Hearing Loss in Children

by | Feb 25, 2024 | Children's Hearing

It’s widely understood that hearing loss is often an unfortunate side effect of growing older. However, older adults aren’t the only ones susceptible to hearing loss.  

In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in eight children ages six to 19 has hearing damage caused by exposure to loud noises. The World Health Organization predicts that this number will continue to rise, with the amount of global hearing loss cases doubling by the year 2050. So, what is the reason behind this alarming increase of hearing loss in children? And what can be done to protect your child’s hearing? 

Why Is Our Children’s Hearing at Risk? 

Loud noise exposure is the biggest culprit. Our modern world is much louder than it once was. We are constantly exposed to loud noises like construction sounds, sirens, and loud music – often at decibel levels that are harmful to our ears. And headphones don’t help matters.  

It’s common for people to wear headphones or earbuds all day long – when talking on the phone, listening to music, exercising, or working. This includes teens and children. Many children use tablets with headphones in noisy environments like restaurants. Often, the volume is turned up too high. 

When we think about noise-induced hearing loss, we often think of hearing loss that’s caused by a sudden sound like an explosion. The truth is that noise-induced hearing loss doesn’t always come on suddenly. It can be caused by exposure to loud noises over time. Since this type of hearing loss occurs gradually, many people don’t notice it until permanent damage is done. 

The problem comes from a combination of duration and volume. As an example, Apple Airpods Max produces a volume of around 100 dB. Only 20 minutes of listening at that volume can be harmful. It’s crucial to keep the volume at safe levels and give our ears regular breaks. 

How Noise Exposure Impacts Children’s Hearing 

Children who suffer from a noise-induced hearing loss tend to have mild cases or are only impacted in one ear. Still, once hearing is gone, it can’t be recovered. Prevention is crucial. Even if a child doesn’t show signs of hearing damage now, continued noise exposure can catch up with them later in life.  

When our ears are exposed to noise, the tiny hairs in our inner ear trigger the nerve cells to fire, which produces a waste product. If the noise is long enough and loud enough, the waste builds up and begins to kill the cells. This is why it’s important to limit the duration that your child’s ears are exposed to loud noises. 

Preventing Hearing Loss in Children 

Prevention is the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your child’s hearing. Here are some helpful tips: 


  • Keep your child away from loud noises as much as possible and ensure they wear hearing protection when exposed to loud noises like fireworks. 
  • Keep the volume of TVs, toys, and electronic devices at safe levels.
  • Accommodating your manual dexterity and visual capabilities
  • Treat ear infections as soon as possible. When ear infections are left untreated, they can cause serious damage. 
  • Set a good example by keeping the volume turned down on your own devices and taking breaks from using headphones.  
  • Have their hearing tested regularly. 

How Denton Hearing Health Care Can Help

If you’re concerned about your child’s hearing, it’s important to seek the help of your audiologist right away and come in for a pediatric hearing test. Thousands of families in the Denton area trust our team of hearing professionals with their children’s hearing health. We understand that hearing loss impacts the whole family, and our goal is to help you to better support your loved ones to help them to achieve better hearing. 

If your child is suffering from a hearing loss, don’t delay. To schedule an appointment with our audiologists, give us a call at 940-387-0550 or request a callback. 

Protect Their Hearing

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Dr. Katie L. Kufeldt, Audiologist

Dr. Kufeldt received her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences as well as her Doctorate of Audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. She is a member of the American Academy of Audiology, Texas Academy of Audiology and is certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association. She is licensed by the State of Texas to practice audiology and fit and dispense hearing aids.

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