hearing loss in children

hearing loss in children

Neurocognitive Deficits in Children with Hearing Loss After Cancer Treatment

In a recent study on survivors of childhood cancers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Bess et al (2020) report an increased risk for neurocognitive deficits in children who have hearing loss after treatment. 

The study sample of 1,512 cancer survivors was separated into groups based on the degree of hearing loss and type of cancer treatment. The three groups included those who received cisplatin and/or carboplatin chemotherapy, cochlear radiotherapy (RT) with or without platinum-based chemotherapy, or no exposure. 

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Children and Hearing Loss

Children and Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss in Children 

Although hearing loss can happen at any age, a growing number of kids and teens are damaging their hearing by prolonged noise exposure to loud noise. This type of damage is called noise-induced hearing loss, which is permanent and is almost always preventable! Approximately 12 percent of all children ages 6–19 have noise-induced hearing loss.

Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells that are found in the inner ear. Hair cells are small sensory cells that convert the sounds we hear (sound energy) into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, our hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can be immediate or it can take a long time to be noticeable.

Prevention includes understanding the hazards of noise and practicing good hearing health. The loudness of sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise over 85dB.

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How to protect your child’s hearing: 

  • Wear proper hearing protection (earmuffs or earplugs) when in noisy environments (concerts, sporting events, fireworks displays, car races). Hearing protection comes in a variety of sizes and textures to provide an optimum fit. Custom-made earplugs can be obtained from an audiologist.
  • Turn down the volume. 
  • Walk away from loud noise.

Childhood noise risks include: 

Noisy toys  Sporting events 
Band class  Motorbikes
Farm equipment  Movie theaters 
Shop class  Arcades 
Concerts  Firearms 
Firecrackers and fireworks  Power tools
MP3 Players   


To help you and your child learn more about hearing, hearing loss, and hearing protection, download these educational worksheets and games.

If you think your child may have a hearing loss and/or you would like more information regarding hearing protection, an audiologist can help navigate these needs. Therefore, “Find an Audiologist” and set up an appointment to get your child’s hearing checked.