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Since good hearing is an important part of speech and language development, hearing screening for newborns and elementary school-age children has become common across the U.S.
We asked parents for their perspectives on this topic in order to get a better idea of when parents think children should be screened for hearing loss.
Two-thirds of parents want teens to be screened for hearing loss between ages 16-17, which is currently not a very common age for screening. Opposed to the beliefs and myths of nagging parents and teachers that say, “Headphones will destroy your hearing,” I am here to tell you that this is not entirely true. The number of decibels that headphones output varies considerably; headphone companies do not advertise the output of decibels their headphones produce. The big deal about hearing damage is that when your ear is damaged, it is damaged permanently. The second part of the ear, the middle ear, contains the ear drum and connected to it are three very small bones called the malleus (hammer), incus (Anvil), and stapes (Stirrup). Once your hair cells have been destroyed, they do not grow back, so any damage done to them now will stay with you for the rest of your life. Set the sound limit of your device in a quiet place so that when you are in noisier areas you don’t crank up the volume to block out the sound.


But hearing screening for tweens and teens is less common, even though hearing loss can impact social interactions and self-esteem at these ages. A majority of parents favor requiring routine hearing screenings for children from preschool through the teenage years. One reason parents may want their teens to have hearing screening is due to increased concern about noise-related hearing loss—which can be caused from extended listening to loud noise, such as through portable listening devices like MP3 players.
As humans, our ears can pick up sounds of 20Hz to 20,000Hz; the Hertz is a measure of sound frequency. The problem is that the user of the headphone cannot knowingly gauge their music below the danger zone (90db) to protect their hearing. To further understand how the ear is damaged, we must venture into the three different parts of the ear. The job of the middle ear is to turn the sound waves into vibrations so that the inner ear can translate them into electrical impulses read by the brain to give you your perception of sound. The cochlea captures vibrations and the hair cells inside the cochlea turn these vibrations into neurological signals. So be aware about how loud you crank up your tunes and the length of time you listen to them, because what you do can affect your hearing for the rest of your life.


Read the full report - Parents loud and clear: Test teens and tweens for hearing loss, too.
Fortunately, in some user manuals for headphones, companies will put in a chart to help you estimate the decibel level of which the head phone produces. This is where sound-induced hearing loss occurs; hair cells are very sensitive and can be easily damaged or entirely destroyed  from long exposure to loud sound. The table below is from a Sol Republic user manual and has sounds above the danger zone.  The chart also has an estimated length of listening time before sound induced hearing loss begins to occur from that level of sound. This outside part is called the Pinna or the Auricle, the people pierce for earrings, and it also consists of the ear canal. Using this table below you can determine how loud your music is to where the noise level in decibels is compared to known sounds.
The purpose of the outer ear is to gather sounds and prevent foreign bodies (viruses and bacteria) from entering our bodies via earwax.



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