Children face new experiences almost daily, but a child might struggle in an area without even realizing that they have a problem. For example, he or she might not respond right away when you call although you aren’t sure why. Watch for any possible hearing issues as early intervention can make all the difference in his or her care. With today’s updated hearing aid technology, you can address hearing loss before it worsens.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Children can suffer hearing loss for any of the following reasons:
Hereditary hearing loss – Also called congenital hearing loss, this type of hearing loss happens pre-birth or at birth.
Otis media – This refers to ear inflammation and fluid buildup in the ear, which might be infected. Cases range from mild to serious, resulting in possible permanent hearing loss. The condition commonly occurs in babies and young children.
Acquired hearing loss – Aside from otis media, children sometimes suffer hearing loss for other reasons, such as exposure to loud noises, several childhood illnesses and head injuries.
Hearing Loss in Infants and Young Children
Babies should startle at loud noises and calm when they hear the voice of a parent. They should look up when they hear a rattle and babble, even beginning to say a few words. By the time they are two, they can follow directions, mimic words, laugh and sing. While an isolated incident isn’t cause for concern, failure to do more than one of these could indicate a problem.
Yanking on ears - One of the first signs that your young child might struggle to hear is pulling on the ears in an effort to clear up muffled sounds. Look to see if he or she is exhibiting this behavior, which might indicate a hearing problem.
A response when you say your child’s name - Starting at six months or even younger, children connect their name with their identity. Parents repeat the child’s name while playing with him or her, helping them associate their name with who they are. Hearing problems will interfere with this ability, inhibiting proper response. Seek professional help if your child doesn’t respond to his or her name.
Not answering if you call - Your child will usually answer if you call from another room. However, failure to respond might be due to hearing loss. Parents sometimes mistakenly discipline their child when he or she has a legitimate hearing problem.
Increased media volume - Young children play educational computer games or watch television shows that teach them to count and their ABCs. They might complain that they can’t hear. Older children will simply turn up the volume on the television or computer.
If you suspect that your child is struggling with hearing issues, seek professional help. A qualified physician can advise you regarding the right hearing aid for your child’s needs.