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'What?': Does Your Child Have Hearing Loss?

A recent study shows that hearing loss among young people has increased 20 percent since the 1980s. Are personal listening devices like iPods to blame?

Sanya Richardson, audiologist at Children's Hospital Colorado, says some ear buds used with many MP3 players are to blame, but there other factors that could also contribute to hearing loss in your child, such as gunshots that can cause immediate damage to hearing. Turning the volume up too loud for too long on your iPod can also cause permanent hearing damage if you're using earbuds that don't block out background noise.

"There are certain earphones that you can purchase that are designed to limit background noise," said Dr. Richardson. "Users [of these headphones] tend to turn the volume down or not turn the volume up to compensate for the background noise"

In addition, Dr. Richardson suggests looking into volume limiting software for MP3 players.

If you're child seems to be saying, "What?" a lot and needs to be looking at your face to understand you, they could have hearing loss.

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