Your child could experience hearing loss at any time. When it happens, your child's ability to communicate, learn, and speak could be impacted. Fortunately, the earlier you catch the problem, the earlier your child can receive treatment:
What Are the Signs of Hearing Loss?
Depending on the age of your child, he or she might not be able to hearing problems. That is why it is important that you are able to recognize the signs when you see them. Signs, such as your child not reacting to loud noise, might not be as noticeable without close observation.
If your child has trouble imitating sounds or saying simple words, such as "dada," a hearing problem could be present. Other signs include:
- Turning the television to loud volumes
- Pulling at the ears constantly
- Unable to recognize voices
- Experiencing learning problems
- Asking people to repeat themselves a lot
- Failing to respond to questions
- Offering inappropriate answers to questions
A hearing problem might also be present if your child is complaining of pain in the ears or suffers from frequent ear infections. There might be other signs present, so stay vigilant.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss in children can result from a number of factors, including premature birth. For instance, children who have had infections, such as meningitis, are at a greater risk of having hearing loss.
Other causes include a family history of hearing loss, exposure to loud noises, and the use of medications that have been linked to hearing loss.
What Can You Do?
If you suspect that your child has hearing loss, it is important that you schedule an examination with an audiologist. The type of testing your child will undergo depends on his or her development status and age.
The audiologist can use a combination of physical and behavioral tests. Physical tests are primarily reserved for children who are not old enough to respond to questions from the audiologist.
The treatment for your child's hearing loss will depend largely on how severe it is. For instance, for severe hearing loss, a hearing aid could be recommended. Your child will have to learn to adapt to wearing the hearing aid and how it feels.
Even if your child is not experiencing any signs of hearing loss, it is a good idea to have his or her ears tested yearly. This helps to ensure your child is in the best position to communicate with others and do well in school.