Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Adding higher frequencies helps detect adolescent hearing loss


Public Release: 21-Nov-2016
Adding higher frequencies helps detect adolescent hearing loss
Penn State

Adding higher frequencies to the American Academy of Pediatrics hearing test protocol helps detect adolescent hearing loss, according to a team of pediatricians and audiologists.

"If we can detect hearing loss when it's mild, we can modify behavior," said Deepa Sekhar, associate professor of pediatrics, Penn State College of Medicine. "You can't reverse hearing loss but you can stop the exposure (to hazardous noise) and prevent continued damage."

For example, hearing gunshots at close range when out hunting, attending loud concerts or football games, or mowing the lawn with your ear buds cranked up to full volume, can result in hearing loss. Exposure to hazardous noise isn't the only culprit; genetics plays a significant role, varying the effect noise has on a person's hearing.

"Young adults can be identified as having reading, emotional or socialization problems and the cause of these problems is actually hearing loss," said Thomas Zalewski, professor of audiology, Bloomsburg University.


"Hearing loss happens gradually, in a similar way to vision loss," said Zalewski. "People don't realize there are different degrees of hearing loss. It's an invisible disability as there is no overt symptom of a person struggling."

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