Noise could cause hearing loss in unborn and newborn babies
By Diana Nabiruma, The Observer 11/26/2013
One expectant mother was advised by other mothers, to expose her unborn baby to loud noises.
“Your home is too quiet. If you continue staying there all the time, your baby will not be used to noise when she is born and every small noise will upset her. You should go to loud places like nightclubs or the taxi park so that your baby gets used to noise.”
The expectant mother heeded their advice and whenever she could, she hauled her heavy self off to loud bars. And when her daughter was born, she was quite desensitized to noise. She could sleep next to a music system playing music at volume 20 and not wake up. This mother was quite proud of her achievement.
But should she have been? Doesn’t loud noise, just like it does in adults, induce hearing loss in unborn babies and newborns?
Dr Vincent Karuhanga of Friends Poly Clinic says, “If it is sharp and it is continuous,” noise may induce hearing loss in foetuses.
Looking at several studies done on noise-induced hearing loss in foetuses and newborns, the American Pediatric Society concluded that “exposure to excessive noise may result in high-frequency hearing loss in newborns [and] exposure to noise in the NICU [Neonatal Intensive Care Unit] may result in cochlear damage.”
The cochlear is the main organ of hearing in the inner ear and its damage causes permanent hearing loss. Because there is a possibility of noise-induced hearing loss occurring in unborn babies and newborns, you should avoid continuously exposing your baby to noise.
What the aforementioned new mother thinks of as bliss thanks to a baby not jolted awake by loud nose, could actually be deafness.
Distributed 2013 by Northern Virginia Resource Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons (NVRC), 3951 Pender Drive, Suite 130, Fairfax, VA 22030; www.nvrc.org; 703-352-9055 V, 703-352-9056 TTY, 703-352-9058 Fax. Items in this newsletter are provided for information purposes only; NVRC does not endorse products or services. You do not need permission to share this information, but please be sure to credit NVRC. This news service is free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.