Unfortunately, hearing loss is not confined to just older adults. Children of all ages can experience it as well. Your Cedar Park hearing specialist estimates that roughly three out of every 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss. In addition, noise-induced hearing loss is increasing in this population as well.
If you think your child may be experiencing hearing loss, now is the time to do something about it. Delaying treatment can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
Being aware of the signs of hearing loss can be your best defense. Below are typical milestones in a child’s development. While each child is unique, answering “no” to any of these questions might indicate a possible hearing loss.
Signs of Hearing Loss
Birth to 4 months
- Does your child stir at loud noises or startle at loud noises?
- Does your child seem to calm down or visually respond (smiling or cooing) to your voice?
4 months to 9 months
- Does your child turn their eyes or head toward sounds?
- Does your child smile when spoken to?
- Does your child make babbling sounds?
9 months to 15 months
- Does your child respond to their name?
- Does your child say “ma-ma” or “da-da”?
- Does your child repeat sounds?
15 to 24 months
- Does your child point to objects when you say their names?
- Does your child follow simple directions?
- Does your child listen to songs and stories?
What Causes Hearing Loss in Children?
Children are either born with or acquire hearing loss. There are three main causes of hearing loss in children.
Congenital factors contribute to children who are born with hearing problems as a result of genetic issues, prenatal problems or premature birth.
Ear Infections (known medically as otitis media) are a very common childhood ailment that occurs when fluid accumulates in the middle ear. This can cause difficulty hearing and, in severe cases, may lead to permanent hearing damage.
Acquired hearing loss is triggered by illnesses, physical trauma, exposure to loud noises and medications.
How is Hearing Loss Treated?
The treatment depends on your child’s type and degree of hearing loss.
Many Cedar Park hearing specialists go with the wait-and-see approach. It is used with ear infections as many will clear up on their own. For those children who have chronic cases, medication or ear tubes may be used.
The sooner you seek help for your child’s hearing loss, the less chance they have of experiencing speech or learning difficulties as a result of the impairment. Contact your Cedar Park hearing specialist at the first sign of trouble.