Dr. Kalpana DePasquale Advises Parents and Teens about Hearing Loss and Listening Devices

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – December 12, 2014 – Dr. Kalpana DePasquale, DO and founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat and Avanti Medical Spa, advises parents to let their children know about hearing loss due to high-volume listening devices. “When it comes to listening, having a teenager can be similar to having a two year old.  However, it’s often unclear if they are just not listening or if they can’t hear you,” said Dr. DePasquale.
According to Dr. DePasquale, even young children, pre-teens and teens who are from the digital generation may be susceptible to hearing loss because of high-decibel sound through the Internet and portable electronic devices.  “Many communications devices that function as phones, music players, cameras, are now increasingly affordable and accessible to more children and teens. Youth clothing is even designed to be fitted with electronic devices and headphones,” she said. “One in five teens will experience hearing loss. And, the number is 30 percent higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s due to the widespread use of headphones and high decibel ranges.”
“Parents need to inform their teens about noise exposure and how it’s linked to hearing loss.  Young people must understand that noise induced hearing loss can be prevented. However, once the young person is diagnosed with hearing loss, it is irreversible,” said Dr. DePasquale.  “Hearing can be amplified with a hearing aid, but there is no cure,” she said.  
Teens with hearing loss may often complain of muffled sounds. They also may listen to the TV or radio at a higher volume and often have difficulty understanding speech. There may also be ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ear which is called tinnitus.  Dr. DePasquale recommends that teens with these symptoms should see an Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat physician for a hearing evaluation which is the most effective method to identify a hearing problem.  
Dr. DePasquale suggests young people use the older-style headphones that are placed over the ears to preserve healthy hearing. This is preferred to the earbuds that sit at the entrance of the ear canal.  “There is a helpful 60/60 rule that states the maximum duration of volume that is greater than 60 percent of the maximum volume should be 60 minutes,” said Dr. DePasquale.  “Volumes higher than 85 decibels can cause hearing damage and high-pitched sounds can cause damage more easily than lower pitched sounds,” she said. “For example, the iPod has a setting for volume limits that can be adjusted to 60 percent. Also, teens should be instructed not to sleep wearing earbuds.”
During the holiday season, many teens will have headphones on their gift list.  They’ll be able to enjoy hearing the music they love for many more years to come if parents use this opportunity to educate their children about hearing protection and hearing loss. For more information, call 904-461-6060 or visit the website at www.saent.net.


Dr. Kalpana DePasquale is the founding physician at St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC and Avanti Medical Spa, LLC. She has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. DePasquale is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages.
At Avanti Medical Spa, Dr. DePasquale has in-depth knowledge of facial aesthetics and performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures with rejuvenating facial treatments, non-invasive skin tightening and skin resurfacing with additional services. She recently developed Avanti Rx, a physician-formulated proprietary skin care line for men and women that utilizes medical grade quality ingredients and botanicals.  The main practice is located at 1301 Plantation Island Drive S., Suite 401 in St. Augustine. For more information, call 904.461.6060. Visit the websites at www.saent.net and www.avantimedspa.net.