Surprising Side Effects of Hearing Loss


You may be surprised to learn that hearing loss affects more than just your ears. When you let your hearing loss go untreated, you’re putting your mental, emotional, social and even physical health at risk. Below are some of the side effects of hearing loss you may not know about.

Strained Relationshipsman putting hand up to ear

Any couples’ counselor will tell you that strong communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship. When you have untreated hearing loss, your partner takes on the burden of having to repeat themselves frequently, listen to the TV at a volume that is uncomfortably loud and take on social responsibilities like answering the phone and scheduling appointments. In addition, the partner with hearing loss may feel resentful or like their struggle isn’t being taken seriously or understood. Over time, all these factors can lead to resentment and strained relationships.

Mental Health Problems

Hearing loss is a profoundly isolating experience. When you cannot hear or communicate well, you may socially withdraw and stop participating in activities you once enjoyed, like dining out, hosting dinner parties and attending religious services. Over time, this can lead to depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.

Cognitive Decline

Social isolation caused by hearing loss can also lead to cognitive decline. In addition, when your brain is receiving less auditory input than it should, it loses the ability to process and understand even the sounds you still can hear, making treatment much more difficult if you’ve gone a long time without hearing well. In other words, just like your muscles, your brain loses strength when it’s not being exercised. One study by Johns Hopkins found that people with mild hearing loss are at twice the risk of developing dementia than those with normal hearing.

GI Issues

Anxiety and stomach problems go hand in hand, and it’s no different for anxiety caused by hearing loss. Many people with hearing loss report symptoms of IBS such as cramps, pain, diarrhea and constipation.

For more information about the side effects of hearing loss or to schedule a hearing test with an expert audiologist, contact Sharp Hearing today.

Learn More About Hearing Loss

Genetics of Hearing Loss

Genetics play a major role in hearing loss for people of all ages. The genetics of hearing loss can be a complicated matter, made even more complex by the fact that inherited and acquired hearing loss can co-occur. Inherited hearing loss is the result of genetic mutations, while acquired hearing loss is caused by environmental factors.

Hearing Loss Caused by Genetic Syndromes

cells in a petri dish

Not all cases of hereditary hearing loss are caused by any specific syndrome, but many are. Doctors estimate that there over 300 genetic syndromes that are associated hearing loss. These include:

  • Alport Syndrome
  • Branchio-Oto-Renal Syndrome
  • Goldenhar’s Syndrome
  • Jervell and Lange-Nielsen Syndrome
  • Mohn-Tranebjaerg Syndrome
  • Norrie Disease
  • Pendred Syndrome
  • Stickler Syndrome
  • Treacher Collins Syndrome
  • Waardenburg Syndrome
  • Usher Syndrome

Hearing loss that is associated with another syndrome is called syndromic hearing loss.

Other Causes of Genetic Hearing Loss

Most cases of hearing loss are not associated with a syndrome; these cases are called non-syndromic. Non-syndromic hearing loss is typically caused by recessive genes, meaning both parents are carriers of the gene. Some cases are caused by dominant genes, which means only one parent is a carrier.

About 70 percent of cases of genetic hearing loss are non-syndromic, and 80 percent of these are caused by recessive genes.

Identifying Genetic Hearing Loss

Identifying genetic causes of hearing loss can be tricky and sometimes requires the team of an otolaryngologist (ENT physician), audiologist, geneticist and a genetics counselor.

The otolaryngologist may take a thorough history and physical exam, then make a referral to an audiologist for a full hearing test.

The patient may also have lab work done to test for prenatal infections that can cause hearing loss in infants. Lab work can help confirm if any syndromes are related to the hearing loss.

A geneticist and genetic counselor can help narrow down which syndromes are likely and eliminate ones that are not. Specific genes can be tested for further confirmation.

If you or someone you love is suspected of having genetic hearing loss, there are options to find out the cause as well as a variety of treatments available. To learn more, call Sharp Hearing today.

Stop the “Cycle” of Hearing Loss

Many people in Plano finish the holidays with a new year’s resolution or two. You might want to drop a few pounds by vowing to eat more veggies and enroll in a fitness class. In spite of your good intentions, joining a gym can have unintended negative consequences. Certain exercises might actually be harmful to your hearing.

Fitness Classes Can Be Noisy

spin class

One of the most popular fitness classes in Plano, and throughout Texas, is spinning. The benefits of indoor cycling are clear; you’ll get an intense cardio workout that burns up to 600 calories an hour, enough to burn off all the cookies and eggnog you consumed over the holidays. The problem with this group activity lies in the loud music that most instructors play during class. It may be a great way to motivate you to pedal harder, but it’s not doing your ears any favors.

How loud to hearing damage

Anything louder than 85 decibels (dB) causes damage the tiny hair cells in the inner ear, causing irreversible hearing loss. The louder the sound, the quicker damage occurs; for every 3-dB increase in volume above 85, your safe exposure time is cut in half. Volume levels in a typical spin class hover around 113 dB, enough to cause hearing damage in only 15 minutes. With the average spin class lasting 40-60 minutes, it’s obvious that pedaling your way to good health might not be worth the tradeoff.

Hearing hazards are avoidable

Hearing hazards in the gym aren’t confined to spinning. Any fitness class that incorporates loud music, such as aerobics, poses similar risks. Clanking weights, motorized treadmills, rowing machines and Stairmasters all add to the overall noisy atmosphere in any fitness center. If it’s big enough and crowded – as it inevitably will be these first few weeks of the new year while resolutions are still fresh in everybody’s minds and complacency hasn’t set in yet – you could be hurting your hearing, too.

Burning Calories Safely

Just because noisy gyms can potentially damage your hearing doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid exercise. There are too many positive health benefits to justify skipping workouts! You just have to learn how to do so safely.

If you’re taking a spinning or aerobics class and the music is too loud, ask your instructor to turn it down. Be prepared to be overruled by tossing a pair of earplugs into your gym bag. Custom silicone plugs made from impressions of your ear canals work best, but even an inexpensive pair of foam plugs from the drugstore will provide you with protection from harmful noise. If you’re not into group workouts, try going to the gym when it’s least crowded; fewer people means less noise.

For more tips on workouts that won’t damage your hearing, give your Plano audiologist a call.

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How Can I Tell if My Partner is Ignoring Me…or Can’t Hear?

Many Plano couples blame their partners for “selective hearing,” especially when it comes time to take out the garbage or clean the bathroom. When the chore doesn’t get done, an argument ensues. “But, honey,” one person will invariably say. “It’s not my fault. I didn’t hear you!” We’re going to help you spot the signs and determine when your significant other is trying to avoid work…and when they honestly might not have heard you!

Hearing Loss Signs in Texas

old couple walking hand in hand

Seven out of ten people think their partner has selective hearing, according to the results of a recent study out of Britain. In other words, they “choose” not to hear something their significant other has said—often in relation to a chore or other request. Men are the worst offenders, tuning out their partner on average just over seven times a week (388 times a year, to be precise). Women do this about six times a week, or a total of 339 times a year.

Hearing loss negatively affects relationships

This can lead to hurt feelings and arguments. But they aren’t ready to bust out the yellow pages (do people even still use those?) in search of a marriage counselor just yet; many of the respondents are quick to admit their partner might not be ignoring them. Over half suspect that a hearing problem might be to blame, and 40 percent go so far as to say they “know with certainty” that their partner is struggling to hear.

What are the risks of untreated hearing loss?

Hearing loss is a widespread concern in Texas and across the country. When untreated, it can result in physical, social and psychological health complications; the list of negative effects includes loneliness, depression, dementia and an increased risk of falling. The signs of hearing loss are often subtle; it takes an average of seven years from its onset before the typical patient seeks treatment. When a hearing impairment isn’t obvious, it’s easy to think selective hearing is at play.

Signs of Hearing Loss

Your Plano audiologist says to pay attention to possible signs of hearing loss. These include:

  • Frequently say “huh?” or “what?”
  • Ask others to speak more clearly, slowly and loudly
  • Complain that others mumble when they speak
  • Have trouble following conversations over noisy backgrounds
  • Struggle with certain consonant sounds (e.g., “s” and “f”)
  • Have difficulty with high-pitched sounds (doorbells, telephones)
  • Turn up the volume on the television or radio
  • Withdraw from social activities

Help yourself or your loved one

If you or your significant other is experiencing any of these (and the garage still hasn’t been cleaned, even after repeated requests!), contact an audiologist in Plano for a hearing exam. This is the best way to know for certain whether your partner is tuning out, or actually can’t hear you, and today’s varied hearing aid options can treat any degree of hearing loss.

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Studies Show Untreated Hearing Loss Leads to Loneliness

Hearing loss has profound effects on the daily lives of thousands of Plano residents. It’s linked to a variety of physical, social and psychological issues; new research shows that people with hearing loss are more likely to experience loneliness—especially if they don’t treat their condition.

Barriers to Treatment in Plano

barrier in front of a door

Hearing loss affects 48 million Americans of all ages, making it one of the most common chronic health conditions in Texas and across the country. Only arthritis and heart disease rank higher. Given the large number of patients and the availability of a treatment solution that benefits 90 percent of those afflicted, you would think that most people take steps to improve their quality of life.

But surprisingly, only about one out of every five older adults with hearing loss wears hearing aids. This leaves 23 million people with untreated hearing loss. According to JAMA Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery, over a ten-year period the likelihood of developing additional conditions goes up.

How often does untreated hearing loss cause other problems after 10 years?

  • Are 50 percent more likely to experience dementia
  • Are 40 percent more likely to experience depression
  • Are 30 percent more likely to sustain falls

Why do people choose not to get hearing aids?

Why are so many people forgoing hearing aids? There are several reasons, starting with the fact that it’s possible many of them don’t even know they have a hearing impairment.

Hearing loss usually develops gradually; as it does, the brain is quite adept at filling in the blanks by diverting resources from key cognitive areas, such as memory and concentration, to assist in hearing. This makes recognizing the signs difficult.

Even when aware of their condition, many choose to skip a visit to the audiologist. Some fear there is a stigma associated with hearing aid use, others don’t think hearing aids will make much of a difference in their lives. Cost is an issue for many; few health plans cover the costs associated with hearing treatment, including Medicare.

Does hearing loss go away on its own?

Unfortunately, ignoring your condition won’t do you any favors. In fact, it increases your risk of experiencing many related health problems. Because following conversations can cause strain and listening fatigue, many people with hearing loss end up withdrawing from social activities.

This leads to isolation and loneliness; a recent Dutch study showed that for people under the age of 70, every decibel drop in hearing perception was associated with a seven percent increase in the likelihood of severe loneliness.

The worse hearing loss gets, the greater the complications.

The more profound the hearing loss, the more severe loneliness becomes. This can trigger other health issues such as stress, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, increasing the risks of developing dementia by 40 percent and premature death by 26 percent. This has prompted some health experts to call social isolation as dangerous as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Why does hearing loss increase dementia risks?

The close connection between hearing loss, loneliness and dementia is well-established if not quite understood. Loneliness is known to increase stress hormones and inflammation, factors that can lead to dementia.

Compounding the problem? The lack of brain stimulation associated with isolation can speed up cognitive impairment.

Research by Johns Hopkins University is currently underway to determine whether treatment for hearing loss can delay or prevent cognitive decline and reduce loneliness. Upon completion of the study in 2022, doctors are hopeful that new treatment solutions will be available for hearing-impaired patients.

If you suspect hearing loss, schedule a visit today.

The sooner hearing loss is detected, the better your odds of avoiding long-term health complications. Your Plano audiologist recommends regular hearing screenings to help catch any problems early.

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Hearing Aids Are Getting Smarter


Advances in technology, fueled by AI and other digital breakthroughs, have led to a wide range of smart devices.

Consumers in Plano can buy smart lightbulbs, thermostats, security cameras and more. Fans of “The Terminator” might view these modern devices with trepidation, but we’re all in favor of things that make life easier and more convenient. Hearing aids are already benefiting from new technology.

How Technology is Improving Hearing Aids

smart woman wearing glasses

Few would argue that hearing aids improve the lives of patients with hearing loss in Plano and across the U.S. They enable people to hear more easily and communicate more effectively, allowing them to participate in social activities and enjoy their favorite pastimes.

In addition, hearing aid help prevent some of the health complications associated with untreated hearing loss—a list that includes depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment and physical conditions like diabetes and kidney disease.

Hearing aids have changed drastically over the years as analog gave way to digital technology—and every year, they improve even more.

Recent hearing aid innovations

The biggest innovations in hearing aid technology in recent years include:

  • Audio streaming. Wireless technology has made it possible to connect Bluetooth®-enabled devices like smartphones and TVs directly to your hearing aids, allowing you to stream audio to one or both hearing aids. Sound is controlled through a phone app, enabling you to operate your hearing aids easily and conveniently. Multiple devices can be connected, ensuring you won’t miss a phone call while listening to music or watching television.
  • Smart home connectivity. Hearing aids are joining the list of smart home devices thanks to a software platform called IFTTT, which takes advantage of a wireless connection to sync internet-enabled devices, automating many everyday functions. Smart hearing aids allow sounds such as spoken notifications or chimes to be delivered directly to the wearer—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hearing aids can be synced with devices such as bedroom lights and coffeemakers, enabling the user to turn these devices on or off whenever their hearing aids are powered up.
  • AI health monitoring. Artificial intelligence is seeping its way into many aspects of our daily lives, and hearing aids are no exception. Some manufacturers are integrating sensors and AI into their products, enabling them to monitor the user’s physical and mental health. Apps can track different aspects of your health such as daily steps, social engagement, and active listening to deliver an overall wellness score. These sensors may also be able to detect when you have fallen, and automatically alert emergency contacts that have been programmed. Additional measurements, such as heart rate monitoring, will be available in the near future.

Contact a Plano audiologist to learn more about how hearing aids can help improve your quality of life.


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Our Plano Audiologist Office Location

Plano
4012 W Park Blvd
Plano, TX 75093
(972) 612-0943

Coping with Hearing Loss & Tinnitus

Hearing loss and tinnitus both affect roughly one in five people in Plano.

These individuals face challenges when it comes to following conversations.

For the unlucky ones who suffer from both, coping on a daily basis is even more difficult.

When Tinnitus & Hearing Loss Cause Problems

yoga on a rock by the ocean

Hearing loss and tinnitus often go hand in hand; there is a lot of overlap between the two, and tinnitus sufferers – already burdened by poor sleep, stress and anxiety, and problems with concentration and memory – have it doubly bad when they must also deal with hearing loss.

That ringing in the ears can become even more troublesome and difficult to control, given that most of the traditional strategies recommended for coping with tinnitus involve sound – problematic when contending with a hearing impairment.

Compounding matters is the fact that tinnitus has no cure.

That doesn’t mean you have to grimace and bear it, however; your Plano audiologist has some strategies that can help you cope when you are dealing with both tinnitus and hearing loss.

Make sure to do the following:

  • See an audiologist. Before doing anything else, see an audiologist. A hearing specialist will determine the type and severity of your hearing loss by administering a hearing exam that will allow them to pinpoint the specific frequencies affected and recommend a hearing aid that specifically targets those areas. They may even be able to treat your tinnitus if the cause is something simple, such as excess earwax or the side effect of a drug you have been prescribed. If not, they can still recommend strategies based on the severity of your tinnitus.
  • Wear hearing aids. The majority of people with hearing loss in Plano benefit from wearing hearing aids. These are designed to boost the volume of sounds in your listening environment, providing you with the ability to hear more effectively. Hearing aids don’t only help restore the frequencies affected by your hearing impairment – they can also be used to help you treat tinnitus. Turning up the volume on your aids and boosting background sounds can help mask the ringing in your ears, making your tinnitus less noticeable. Many hearing aids even come with features designed for people with tinnitus, such as white noise, music or nature sounds – all of which serve to lower the perceived volume of your tinnitus, helping your brain habituate to it so it becomes less noticeable.
  • Learn to relax…literally. Stress can cause tinnitus to flare up, making symptoms worse. Learning to relax will help calm you down and quiet the ringing in your ears. Try home remedies such as a hot bath before bedtime, giving yourself a trigger point massage using a tennis ball or foam roller and trying progressive muscle relaxation, a technique that involves tensing and then relaxing different groups of muscles for 10-20 seconds at a time, beginning with your toes and working your way up to your head. Another helpful trick is the 4-7-8 breathing exercise:
    • Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue behind your upper front teeth.
    • Exhale through your mouth, making a whooshing sound.
    • Close your mouth and inhale through your nose while counting to four.
    • Hold your breath and count to seven.
    • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whooshing sound and counting to eight.
    • Repeat the cycle three more times.
  • Get rid of tinnitus triggers. For many people, tinnitus waxes and wanes, much like the moon and tides. It will come on strong, level off and then increase in intensity and volume – and never when you expect it to. Try keeping a journal charting things like diet, exercise, lifestyle and environment to help pinpoint potential tinnitus triggers. If you are able to identify those, take the steps necessary to reduce their influence on your life.

Your Plano audiologist can provide you with more tips for coping with tinnitus and hearing loss. Schedule an appointment today if you’d like additional information.


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Our Plano Audiologist Office Location

Plano
4012 W Park Blvd
Plano, TX 75093
(972) 612-0943

Navigating Plano Roads Safely with Hearing Loss


The Beatles once sang, “Baby, you can drive my car.”

But if you’ve got hearing loss in Plano, don’t even think about sliding behind the wheel without your hearing aids.

There are other steps you can take to ensure a safe trip from Point A to Point B, as well.

Hearing is Essential to Safe Driving

person driving a car with hearing loss

Having good vision is imperative for Plano drivers, but hearing is equally important.

Your safety depends upon it!

You’ll need to be alert to warning sounds such as emergency vehicle sirens and honking horns.

The following tips will help ensure a safe driving experience for those with a hearing impairment.

  • Visit your Plano audiologist. Ignoring signs of hearing loss won’t make your impairment disappear. If you are experiencing symptoms, make an appointment with an audiologist in Plano as soon as possible. Untreated hearing loss significantly impacts your quality of life and increases your risk of developing a number of physical, social and psychological problems.
  • Avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving was responsible for 3,500 traffic fatalities in 2016 and 390,000 injuries in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The most common driving distractions include:
    • Music. Loud music interferes with your concentration and can prevent you from hearing warning sounds. Keep the volume turned down when listening to music and other forms of entertainment – podcasts and audio books can be every bit as distracting.
    • Passengers. It’s nice to have company when you’re driving, but chatty passengers can distract you from driving. Let them know that, as much as you enjoy chitchat about the weather and the latest pennant race, your hearing impairment demands you pay close attention to the road.
    • Open windows. Cranking open the windows on a warm day can let in a nice, refreshing breeze, but wind and road noise may interfere with your ability to stay alert. Turn on the air-conditioner instead of rolling down windows, opening the moonroof, etc.
    • Cellphones. When it comes to driving distractions, cellphones are public enemy #1. More traffic accidents can be attributed to inappropriate cellphone use than anything else. Keep your phone in your pocket; there is no call that can’t wait until you reach your destination (with the exception of an emergency). Texting is even more dangerous.
  • Rely on visual cues. Good vision can help compensate for hearing loss. Schedule regular eye exams and, if you require corrective lenses, always wear them when driving. Additional tips to help with visual acuity include:
    • Full-view rearview mirrors. Full-view rearview mirrors allow you to see more and are especially handy when backing up and navigating parking lots and other places with a lot of pedestrians.
    • Backup cameras. Many of today’s cars and trucks come with dashboard-mounted backup cameras; these help alert you to vehicles, pedestrians and other hazards you might have trouble spotting on your own.

For more tips on driving safely with hearing loss, contact your Plano hearing specialist.

Side Effects of Mumps Include Hearing Loss


Most people with hearing loss in Plano can attribute their condition to a common cause such as aging or noise exposure. There are other factors that can lead to impaired hearing, though – including mumps.

Vaccinations are Important

Person in the hospital with an IV

Mumps has made a resurgence in the U.S. over the past few years, thanks in large part to the “anti-vaxxer” movement that has led to a small but growing number of parents refusing to have their children immunized.

The number of cases has risen from around 1,000 in 2015 to over 6,000 the past few years. Considering this once-common childhood disease was considered all but eradicated decades ago, this is an alarming trend that can have serious health consequences.

Mumps is a viral infection belonging to the same family as measles. It is highly contagious, with the most frequent method of transmission being infected saliva usually spread by coughing and sneezing.

Mumps Exposure and Symptoms

Once you have been exposed, symptoms appear about two weeks later and include swollen salivary glands on one or both sides of the face, pain when chewing or swallowing, fever, headache and muscle aches, weakness, fatigue and loss of appetite.

Complications such as inflammation of the testicles, ovaries, breasts, pancreas and brain can occur; other rare but serious side effects include fluid buildup around the brain and spinal cord and hearing loss.

How Mumps Causes Hearing Loss

The link between mumps and hearing loss isn’t entirely understood, but it is believed that the virus can attack the cochlea, auditory nerve, brainstem and stria vascularis, affecting blood supply to the inner ear and damaging the nerve cells responsible for hearing.

Those with hearing loss resulting from mumps – such as Hollywood actress Holly Hunter, who contracted the disease as a child – are usually affected in only one ear (in Holly’s case, her left). Inner ear damage is permanent, so once the hair cells are destroyed, they do not grow back and can’t be repaired. Fortunately, only 1-4 percent of people infected with mumps in Plano will go on to develop hearing loss as a result.

But why take that chance, when a vaccine is readily available and highly effective?  The MMR vaccine protects against mumps, measles and rubella, all three of which can cause hearing loss. It has been available since 1971 and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a person receiving two doses will reduce their risk of contracting the disease by 88 percent. Your child should receive their first immunization between the ages of 12 and 15 months, with a second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. A booster shot in the teen years is also recommended.

For more information on preventing hearing loss from mumps, make a call to your Plano audiologist today.

When Noise from Toys Harms Girls and Boys

Children in Plano will wake up on Christmas morning eager to tear into their gifts. Parents in Plano will wake up on Christmas morning reaching for the earplugs, because – let’s face it – many of those toys beneath the tree can be loud and annoying. Some of them, it turns out, pose a real danger to kids, with the possibility of causing permanent hearing damage.

Toys with Dangerous Decibel Levels

pile of wrapped presents

In the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” Ralphie famously asks for a Red Ryder BB gun but his mother objects because she’s afraid he might shoot an eye out. BB guns aren’t the only toys with the potential to cause harm to children in Plano. Many of the toys being offered by manufacturers this holiday season are dangerously loud. The threshold for safe noise exposure is 85 decibels; anything louder can cause irreversible damage to the tiny hair cells in the cochlea responsible for hearing.

The following toys all represent hazards. Decibel levels are listed, as well; all measurements were taken as if the child had their ear next to the toy’s speaker.

  • Black & Decker Junior Leaf Blower (113.8 dB)
  • Marvel Avengers Infinity War Infinity Gauntlet Electronic Fist (108.5 dB)
  • My Little Pony Singing Rainbow Dash (108.4 dB)
  • Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Minnie Convertible (107 dB)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi Bladebuilders Electronic Riot Baton (106.3 dB)
  • toys Woofer Hound Dog Guitar (106.2 dB)
  • Marvel Avengers Infinity War Mission Tech Iron Man (106.1 dB)
  • Fisher-Price Sing & Learn Music Player (105.6 dB)
  • Fisher-Price Bright Beats Spin & Crawl Tumble Ball (104 dB)
  • Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Puppy’s Busy Activity Home (103.7 dB)
  • toys Meowsic Keyboard (103.4 dB)
  • toys You Turns Steering Wheel (103.3 dB)
  • Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Sort Snail Pail (103 dB)
  • Marvel Black Panther Slash & Strike Erik Killmonger Figure (101.6 dB)
  • Fisher-Price Shimmer & Shine Tummy Rubs Nazboo (100.7 dB)
  • VTech Pull and Discover Activity Elephant (100.3 dB)
  • VTech Drill & Learn Toolbox (99 dB)
  • Spider-Man Homecoming Super Sense Spider-Man (99 dB)
  • VTech Sort & Discover Drum (98.8 dB)
  • Playskool Friends Sesame Street Tickle Me Elmo (90 dB)

This list is not all-encompassing; other toys might also damage your child’s hearing. If possible, check the packaging for warnings or go online and seek out information on decibel levels. User forums such as Reddit are good sources for info. If in doubt, talk to your Plano audiologist about safe toys for your child this holiday season.