There’s always so much talk about hearing loss in adults and those who are elderly. We tend to accept this as commonplace and want to help our loved ones achieve better hearing, even though it may be difficult due to their age.
Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time. It’s something that can be brought on naturally or via a one-time event like a concert. But when it happens to children, immediate action must be taken.
Identifying hearing loss in children early on is crucial so we can slow the rate of declination. We can begin treatments and help children positively deal with their condition.
According to the Dallas Hearing Foundation, about 3 out of every 1000 children suffer from major hearing loss problems. We think this number is way too high and want to work even harder to reduce it.
Let’s take a look at how you can help identify the signs of hearing loss in children and what you can do about it if you notice these symptoms.
Obvious Signs of Hearing Loss
Aside from some instances where hearing loss is present from birth, it can develop similar to that of an adult, just a lot quicker. Children will try to adapt to their new issues without even knowing they have a problem.
It’s our job as professionals and parents to look for these signs and catch hearing issues before they become too detrimental:
- Constantly turning up the volume of their devices. By now, you know how loud you listen to the TV, so if your child always requests it to be higher than what you need, that’s a sign that their hearing may not be in top form.
- If they ask for things to be repeated often, then it could be that they can’t hear at a normal level or that they have trouble hearing when there is background noise present.
- Calling their name while their back is turned and them not answering is another indicator of hearing loss. They may also unconsciously go out of their way to face you head-on when you’re talking to them. This behavior is indicative of hearing loss.
- Unfortunately, we pass on our poor hearing genes to our children, if that is the case in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history is a huge advantage for us as audiologists, and that’s why we take the time to get to know every one of our patients.
- Getting sick a lot or experiencing frequent ear infections is also a sign that their hearing is not functioning the way it should.
If any of this sounds familiar, then please bring your child in for a comprehensive hearing assessment. This is a painless and non-invasive procedure that will answer all your questions regarding your child’s hearing status.
Different Types of Hearing Loss in Children
There are three main types of hearing loss in children. Understanding the difference could help your child receive the best care and overcome their problem to lead a fulfilling life.
Acquired Hearing Loss — Happening in adults just as easily as in children, acquired hearing loss is something that occurs over time throughout a person’s or a child’s life. Noise-induced hearing loss is the leading cause of acquired hearing loss.
Otitis Media — This occurs when the middle of the ear becomes inflamed. It’s the most common and causes fluid to build up, which leads to conductive hearing loss.
Congenital Hearing Loss — This refers to children who are born with some level of hearing loss. Genetic conditions account for about 50% of children’s congenital hearing loss problems. Conducting newborn hearing screenings is crucial to identify this so treatment can begin right away.
What Happens if Symptoms Are Overlooked
Addressing hearing issues right away gives each patient the best chance at successful treatment. This is no different with children, except it’s even more important.
Healthy hearing and proper communication go hand-in-hand. Adults who develop hearing loss later in life already have the communication skills to navigate life. A child has yet to develop these skills and having to do so without hearing makes it that much more difficult.
We need to teach our children that it’s okay to speak up when something is wrong. We also need to step up when we see something wrong. Neglect is a substantial contributing factor to many hearing loss issues. We want to limit that in children as much as possible.
How Hear in Texas Can Help
Starting with a hearing assessment is the first step to ensuring your child has healthy hearing and can maintain it.
If you have any questions, please contact us at any time. We are always standing by to help you and your family achieve healthy hearing.