Hear In Texas
Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Hearing?
Hearing loss from age deterioration is pretty common, but hearing loss can affect us at any stage of life, even in childhood.
Hearing loss is especially concerning in children because it can have a significant impact on healthy growth and development.
As parents, we understand that nothing is more important than the healthy growth and development of your child.
When you suspect that your child is not hearing well or struggling to communicate, you’re looking for professional answers as well as a diagnosis and treatment process for your child that is as easy and stress-free as possible.
Every step of Dr. Sally’s pediatric hearing care process is designed to be friendly, welcoming, and relaxing for you and your child, allowing us to provide more accurate testing results and the best possible solutions while ensuring that your child keeps a smile on his or her face the whole time.
What Causes Hearing
Loss In Children?
01. Otitis Media
Otitis media is the most common cause of hearing loss in children. It involves inflammation of the middle ear, just behind the eardrum and often into the Eustachian tube between the middle ear and the back of the throat.
Because it is smaller and less angled in children than it is in adults, the Eustachian tube can be blocked more easily. The fluid buildup leads to “conductive” hearing loss, which prevents or mutes sound as it moves from the ear canal to the inner ear and auditory processing system of the brain.
Infectious otitis media is often easier to detect since an earache and fever are often involved. Treating otitis media as early as possible, which sometimes includes the insertion of tubes to help with drainage, can help prevent permanent damage to your child’s hearing.
02. Congenital Hearing Loss
At around 16 weeks in the womb, most fetuses have already developed their hearing, but some people are born with hearing difficulties or “congenital” hearing loss. Genetic conditions account for 50% or more of congenital hearing loss cases.
Additional causes of congenital hearing loss can include prenatal infections, illnesses, and toxins consumed by the mother during pregnancy, along with an infection within the womb, premature birth, gestational diabetes, toxemia during pregnancy, and a lack of oxygen (anoxia).
03. Acquired Hearing Loss
Hearing impairments that show up after birth are referred to as acquired hearing loss, which is not child-specific. Risk factors for acquired hearing loss in children include frequent ear infections, ototoxic drugs known to affect hearing, meningitis, measles, encephalitis, chickenpox, influenza, mumps, head injuries, and frequent or ongoing exposure to loud noise.
Noise exposure deserves special mention because noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is among the primary causes of acquired hearing loss in children. Since the advent of headphones and earbuds, video games, and an endless stream of media via smartphones pump damaging sound at excessive volume directly into your child’s ears.
Monitoring the volume on your child’s earphones and earbuds can help prevent damage, as can ensuring that your child wears hearing protection when exposed to noise from lawn and garden equipment, concerts and sporting events, motorcycles, and snowmobiles, or while participating in shooting sports or hunting.
How To Detect Hearing Loss In Children
Are you aware of the warning signs of hearing loss? Recognizing them is essential in order to seek early diagnosis and treatment, giving your audiologist a fighting chance to reduce the impact of hearing loss on the healthy growth and development of your child.
You can evaluate whether your child might be experiencing hearing loss by asking the following questions:
- Does your child get frequent colds and ear infections?
- Does your child not understand people without facing them?
- Does your child speak loudly, as if having trouble hearing himself/herself?
- Does your child always turn up the volume on the TV or radio?
- Does your child often not respond when called?
- Does your child need to have things repeated?
- Is there a history of hearing loss in your family?
- Was your child born prematurely? (sooner than 37 weeks)
- Did your child have a low birth weight?
- Did your child experience a lack of oxygen at birth?
If you answered yes to any or several of these questions and your child is age four or older, contact Hear in Texas as soon as possible for a thorough and comprehensive hearing evaluation. You can also contact us if your child is under the age of 4 so we can refer you to the best resources.
Schedule A Pediatric Hearing Assessment For Your Child
Nothing is more important than your child’s healthy growth and development.
Hearing loss has a significant impact on limiting development in children, which is why it is critical to address hearing issues in children ASAP.
If you suspect your child may be experiencing hearing challenges, contact Dr. Sally at Hear in Texas by submitting the adjacent form.
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