March 30th, 2017 | Ask an Audiologist | by Andreas Seelisch

Ask an Audiologist: Should I Be Concerned if My Baby is Exposed to Loud Music?

Hearing loss is a concern at any age, but what about when you’re just a few weeks old?

Parents often write to Hearing Solutions to Ask an Audiologist for information about what adds up to Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) all the time.

They’re concerned about exposing their child to noise levels that could probably cause your hearing to be damaged as an adult too! Hearing Solutions’ Audiology team, not only welcomes your questions but feel it’s their duty to provide you with answers to these very real health issues.

Contact Hearing Solutions if you want to know about hearing health problems you may be experiencing and a registered Audiologist will provide you with the answer, it’s that simple.

Ask an Audiologist

We brought our 2-month old daughter to my dad’s 60th birthday reception with DJ and loud music. We were 3 tables down from the DJ and speakers. She slept through most of the loud music and noise. We stayed for about 4 hours. She seemed fine when we got home. She’s smiling and cooing and still responsive. Should I be concerned about hearing damage? Thanks!

Audiologist Response

Thank you for your submission to Ask an Audiologist.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is a result of damage to the inner ear upon exposure to very loud noises over a prolonged period of time. The sensitive structures of the inner ear are vulnerable in people of all ages, and exposure to harmful sound may cause temporary or permanent hearing impairment in both children and adults.

I was not at the reception and cannot know how loud it was. But the fact that your daughter slept right through the event and hasn’t shown any changes in her behaviours is a good sign that you don’t have anything to worry about. However, to be absolutely sure that your daughter’s hearing was not affected, I would recommend that you talk to her doctor about having her hearing tested by an Audiologist in your area. While you’re at it (and since it sounds like you were exposed to the loud music as well)! I’d suggest having your own hearing evaluated too. At Hearing Solutions we offer a free hearing test for adults, and we have many convenient locations across the province of Ontario if you are interested.

For future family gatherings and events, you might consider investing in hearing protection for your daughter to ensure that she’s protected and to give you a little peace of mind. You can find these popular hearing protection earmuffs here on Amazon.

Also for next time, you could download a sound level meter app to your smart phone and take an approximate reading of the decibel (loudness) levels in your environment. This is something that I like to do for fun. These apps are not perfectly accurate, but a general rule of thumb is that sound levels of 85 dB or higher can cause damage to the auditory system, so they can give you some idea. I’d suggest staying away from areas of 80 dB or higher for extended periods of time.

I hope that this information is helpful to you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any further questions.

Stephanie Loder, B.Sc., M.Cl.Sc., Reg. CASLPO Audiologist, Aud(C)

Stephanie is a registered Audiologist with the College of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists of Ontario. Stephanie currently sees patients at Hearing Solutions’ Carlingwood Shopping Centre location in Ottawa.

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