“A healthy hearing lifestyle begins even before conception, and pregnant and nursing mothers should avoid alcohol and other drugs. Families with a history of hearing loss should be especially vigilant in monitoring their babies’ hearing,” advises the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds that loud noises, such as from sirens, music, or loud factory jobs, can travel through a pregnant woman’s body and damage her unborn baby’s hearing.
Before leaving the hospital, each newborn’s hearing is tested, in compliance with the governmental law that affirms the value of diagnosing hearing loss as soon as possible.
Audiologist Dr. Susan Rogan, with offices in Westmont and LaGrange Park, agrees that early testing is essential. “The sooner a patient seeks treatment for problems, the better the outcome.”
“Audiologists know that healthy hearing in the early childhood years is critically important in the development of speech and language, and even minimal hearing loss can lead to learning problems,” ASHA states. “A healthy lifestyle and careful parental oversight can reduce or prevent illnesses associated with chronic middle ear conditions, and medical intervention should be sought when needed. Noise exposure is also an issue for all people, especially babies and children.”
To protect young children’s hearing, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency urges parents and care givers to sit farther back or remove children from sources of loud noises; lower the volume at home; create a quiet sleeping and learning environment; and seek help if your baby doesn’t react to unexpected loud noises.
As a general rule, any noise you can comfortably talk through is probably acceptable for children. However, if a baby cries, fusses, or rubs his ears, the noise level may be too great or stressful for young sensitive ears.
For more information, contact Susan Rogan Hearing, (630) 969-1677 for the Westmont office, (708) 588-0155 for LaGrange Park, or visit www.susanroganhearing.com.