Kids have it made. They get summer vacation, premade lunches every morning and the best part, they never have to sit through a conference room meeting. But they don’t win all the time. Children in North Austin and throughout the country are at an increased risk of developing pediatric hearing loss.
Thought hearing loss only affected the older generations? Think again.
Roughly three out of 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, and its prevalence is on the rise with adolescents. The most likely cause of this increase is noise-induced hearing loss, which has become more prevalent due to the use of personal music players.
Causes of Pediatric Hearing Loss
There are two types of pediatric hearing loss: congenital or acquired.
Congenital hearing loss means it is present at birth. This type can be caused by: genetic issues, prenatal problems or premature birth.
Acquired hearing loss develops after birth. It can be caused by a number of issues such as illnesses, physical trauma, exposure to loud noises and medications.
Ear infections are one of the most common causes of acquired hearing loss. It occurs when fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear and can lead to difficulty hearing and, in severe cases, may lead to permanent hearing damage.
Pediatric Hearing Loss Signs
There are a number of signs that you should be aware of, as they may indicate it is time to bring your child in for a pediatric hearing test. These include:
- A delay in speech and language.
- Failure to respond to loud noises or your voice.
- Poor academic performance.
- Frequent ear infections.
- Disorders associated with hearing loss (e.g., Down syndrome or autism).
- Family history of hearing loss.
Pediatric hearing loss and adolescents is a serious and time-sensitive issue. The longer it goes without being treated the more likely it is that your child could experience speech or learning difficulties. If you think your child may be suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss, contact your North Austin audiologist today to schedule an appointment.