Hearing is next to the eyes our most important sense organ - hearing and seeing are the basis for interpersonal communication. For the development of the sense of hearing, a complex connection to the brain is necessary. This process is largely completed at the age of four to five. Especially in infancy, it is therefore important that the environment provides good conditions for optimal hearing. Children react very sensitively to external influences during their development, their hearing can be irritated by various influences from the environment.
Strains for hearing
Probably the biggest handicap in hearing development and for maintaining a good ear is a high noise level. With noise, the maturing hearing and the growing child can not develop undisturbed. In adulthood, the damage to the inner ear by noise (noise deafness) is the most recognized occupational disease.
Studies show that today young people are increasingly developing incurable inner ear damage. The reason: noise effects z. B. by MP3 players already exist well before the work process and noise recovery phases in the leisure are not respected. The hearing disorders acquired in childhood are characteristic of personal development, both privately and professionally: with hearing deficits, some career aspirations are out of the question. It is therefore important to detect and eliminate noise disturbances, especially in childhood, in good time.
Negative influences and their consequences
The ongoing street noise in residential areas can lead to stress on the nervous system. Concentration disorders, gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, sleep disorders and depression are among the possible consequences of chronic noise pollution - this applies to children and adolescents as well as adults. Also, inflammatory diseases of the middle ear can damage the hearing permanently. They are caused by common infections in combination with enlarged pharyngeal tonsils.
Especially in kindergarten time, the training camp of the immune system, the middle ear infections occur frequently. More than 30 million Germans suffer from allergic diseases, even in childhood with rising tendency. These can lead to a collection of secretions in the middle ear of children, which is often recognized too late or not at all. In addition, there are many substances that damage the hearing, such as drugs or pollutants from the environment. Particularly dangerous: Even quantities that are still within the tolerance range for adults can cause damage to the sensitive child's hearing.
Prevent hearing damage through prevention
Since 2009, routine hearing tests have already been carried out on babies in the first few weeks of life - so that most congenital hearing problems can be recognized early on. In order to do something about acquired hearing disorders, kindergartens, schools and also doctors should inform more about the precautionary health of the hearing against the background of the many harmful influences.
Harmful sound sources should be restricted by law to a tolerable level, for example, by sound level limits in discos and concerts as well as MP3 players & Co.
Hearing damage - individual prevention
- Toys: Toddlers can be permanently damaged by loud toys in their hearing development. Noise sources such as children's trumpets, whistles, cracking frogs, toy guns and firecrackers should be avoided at this age - an investigation has z. For example, the bang of a toy gun fired near the ear is louder than that of real guns on the shooter's ear! Even music boxes that are held too close to the ear can damage your hearing.
- Listening to music: Children and teenagers usually listen to music aloud. Especially with the MP3 player with unlimited sound level (especially dangerous with headphones in the ear), the use of full amplification can lead to permanent hearing loss. An enlightening conversation and the technical limitation of sound levels are useful here. Cinema performances, discotheques, music events in leisure centers, youth meetings as well as concerts - open air or in event halls - can lead with the mostly high sound loadings to hearing impairments. To protect your hearing, you should wear a noise protection (special earplugs) here.
- Environmental noise in living areas can be reduced in part by structural changes. A move within your own apartment may bring the bedrooms to a quiet area.
- Inflammatory processes of the ear: Inflammation of the ears with permanent tympanic effusions due to recurrent infections, enlarged tonsils, allergic or pseudoallergic diseases and damage due to toxic environment must be recognized in time and treated with medical treatment. Only in this way can long-term hearing damage be avoided.
- Thermal damage: The uncritical use of cell phones in childhood, especially in closed rooms and in the car, can damage the hearing due to thermal effects due to the high wattage.
A healthy living environment, healthy nutrition, unencumbered clothing and active leisure activities with as much exercise as possible are prerequisites for undisturbed development of children - and good hearing.
EU standard for children's toys: DIN EN 71-1: 2007-08 (4.20 - Acoustic requirements)
Fleischer G et al .: Children's air pistols and their effect on the ear. Ent. 1998; 46 (9)