Kid’s Corner

mother and daughter on grassHear­ing loss at any age is an emo­tion­al issue. It robs you of a sense that adds so much to the rich­ness of life. This loss is espe­cial­ly heart­break­ing in chil­dren. Not only does it impact the sound expe­ri­ence of a life yet to be lived to the fullest, but it also cre­ates a bar­ri­er to a child’s num­ber one job, learn­ing. For­tu­nate­ly, many caus­es of hear­ing loss are treat­able, and it is often pos­si­ble to return the sounds of child­hood to a young life. Read on to learn more.

Cat­e­gories of Hear­ing Loss
As with adults, hear­ing loss in chil­dren is mea­sured in degrees. The loss can range from mild, one that caus­es dif­fi­cul­ty hear­ing hushed tones such as a whis­per to mod­er­ate­ly severe, where the child can still hear loud speech, to a total loss result­ing in deaf­ness.

Hear­ing loss in chil­dren typ­i­cal­ly falls into two main cat­e­gories. The most com­mon, a con­duc­tive hear­ing loss, is asso­ci­at­ed with con­di­tions in the exter­nal or mid­dle ear that block the trans­mis­sion of sound. These con­di­tions can include ear infec­tion, flu­id in the ear, impact­ed ear­wax, a per­fo­rat­ed eardrum, a for­eign object in the canal or birth defects that alter the canal. Many of these con­di­tions are treat­able through minor pro­ce­dures or surgery.

Sen­sorineur­al loss, also known as “nerve deaf­ness”, is the sec­ond type. This occurs when there is dam­age to the inner ear or nerve path­ways from the inner to the brain. Most often, this type of loss is caused by con­gen­i­tal. It can also be caused by the use of oto­tox­ic drugs (antibi­otics), pre­ma­ture birth with a very low birth weight and some of the result­ing treat­ments or a num­ber of oth­er med­ical con­di­tions. Although there is no cure for this type of loss in most cas­es, chil­dren can often be helped with hear­ing aids.

Symp­toms
Signs to look for pos­si­ble hear­ing issues in chil­dren of dif­fer­ent ages are:

New­born / infant:

  • Not star­tling at loud nois­es
  • Not show­ing nor­mal speech devel­op­ment

Tod­dler and old­er:

  • Sit­ting close to the tele­vi­sion with the sound turned up to a loud vol­ume
  • Hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ty in school
  • Not respond­ing to some­one that is talk­ing with­out being face to face
  • Stat­ing they are hav­ing dif­fi­cul­ty hear­ing

 

If you believe your child is expe­ri­enc­ing a hear­ing loss, con­sult with your physi­cian or an Audi­gyC­er­ti­fied™ pro­fes­sion­al at the ear­li­est pos­si­ble date. Time­ly test­ing, diag­no­sis and treat­ment pro­vide the best course of action to ensur­ing the high­est qual­i­ty life­time Sound Expe­ri­ence for your child.

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