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Hearing Loss in Children Today

Sunday, June 10, 2018 10:33:00 AM Australia/Melbourne

Hearing Loss in Children TodayHere at Hearlink, we know that an important part of the work that we do is setting our future generations up for success. We’re so fortunate that we’re able to leverage decades of scientific research and technological advances to improve the hearing of our younger customers. We know that this will continue to be the case not only because of the evolution of science but because unfortunately, teens and young adults today live in a world where they’re simply not taking care of their ears. Let’s dive a little deeper into this.


Think about the number of iPods and smartphones you see when you’re out and about. Teens and young adults are standing next to speakers at concerts and athletic events more than ever. They’re not as well educated about the detrimental effects that these experiences can have on your ears. They don’t know that the effects are not just short-term and, on the ears, but far beyond that, impacting their brains for life. There was an interesting study in the journal eNeuro just this past month that shared even the slightest deficits in hearing place demands on the brain that won’t be noticed until later in life.


This study should have a great impact on the industry. It used functional magnetic resonance imaging scans, which help to monitor brain activity. This study focused on both men and women, all in good health that were between ages 18 and 41. Many of the participants surveyed had very minor hearing loss prior to the study, clinically in the normal range, but still a topic of conversation. The study leveraged fMRI scans and really honed in on different sentences and how the study participants processed and understood the sentences.


There were some good takeaways which are really key for our future generations. The right hemisphere of your brain (most specifically the right frontal cortex) tended to show trends of hearing loss. This makes sense because the right frontal cortex monitors and regulates both your speech and language comprehension. Luckily for us, the brain has plasticity traits and can adapt throughout your life based on your lifestyle choices and decisions.


The audiology director of the Hearing Implant Program at the Cleveland Clinic knows that these findings are significant. “Exposure to loud sound can cause subclinical damage to 'synaptic ribbons' – essentially the connections between the sensory cells in the inner ear and the hearing nerve. People with this damage suffer from what is being referred to as 'hidden hearing loss' because often they will appear to have normal hearing on a standard hearing test, yet they may complain that they have difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments or groups."


This isn’t news to the team at Hearlink, but it’s an important reminder and a topic that we’ll continue to track. If you ever have any questions or comments, please let the Hearlink team know. We believe that this is an especially important conversation to continue working through solutions for.

Posted in Industry News By

Hearlink Admin