06 May Teenage Hearing Loss
Lifestyle is certainly a factor in the increasing rates of hearing loss among young people. A daily barrage of loud video games, mp3 players cranked to full volume, concerts, sporting events, movie theaters and surround-sound entertainment systems delivers an unprecedented assault on the hearing of our children and teens, the likes of which has not been previously seen.
With increasing rates of hearing loss comes academic challenges, a growing problem for young people. Kids and teens with hearing loss are at risk academically if their hearing loss is left untreated. Even those kids who have congenital hearing loss and have received treatment for their hearing loss in the form of hearing aids or cochlear implants can find themselves having difficulty in school; they have to adjust to new teachers every year who may or may not have experience working with students who are hearing impaired or have hearing loss, or might miss hearing important information about assignments that can adversely affect their grades.
For older teens, job and career choices can be heavily influenced by hearing loss. Studies have shown young people with hearing loss are often more limited in their vocational choices due to perceived barriers. Whether those barriers actually exist or not, they can influence young people with hearing loss to become anxious and lose confidence, and thus compromise their career goals.
Often, kids and teenagers who are hearing impaired or have hearing loss have to work harder at everyday things that kids with typical hearing take for granted. In sports, for example, they may experience more stress and frustration due to not being able to hear coaches’ instructions. Interactions with peers might be more difficult due to missed jokes or only hearing part of a conversation. Overall, they may find themselves feeling left out and awkward, wondering where they fit in. It is a difficult position for anyone to be in, especially a young person.