Hearing loss in children can be hard to detect, both because it's often unexpected and because they aren't always able to tell when their hearing is abnormal. Here is a guide to understanding how to help your child who may have hearing loss.
Why Does Hearing Loss Happen in Children?
There are many causes of hearing loss in younger children. Often, it is related to an infection that occurred during infancy. It may be related to a loud noise exposure; the young ears of children are especially vulnerable to high decibel noises, whether they be continuous or acute exposures.
What Are Some of the Signs of Hearing Loss?
There are some key signs of hearing loss. First of all, if the hearing loss occurred at a young age, your child might have delayed verbal skills; they can't hear the sounds as well as other children, so they are slower to imitate new words correctly. Another sign is if your child doesn't seem to react when you call to them. It can also be something subtle, such as a child that doesn't pay attention or loses interest when you are speaking to them directly.
Sometimes, hearing loss can present itself as a child who seems to have ADHD or behavioral issues in the classroom. It's simply that they can't hear what the teacher is saying, so they have trouble following along with the lesson or paying attention in class. In fact, if you have a child who is struggling in school and none of the standard interventions is working, a hearing and visual evaluation is key to diagnosis a problem.
What Do I Do if I Suspect Hearing Loss?
If any of these signs and symptoms resonates with you as a parent, set up a visit with your child to see either a family doctor or an audiology specialist. Preferably, it will be someone who has experience working with children, since the auditory tests may need to be modified for young children who can't clearly communicate with the doctor themselves. Hearing aids might be necessary to correct any developing hearing problems.
Fitting Hearing Aids for Children
The audiologist will need to make sure you're comfortable with adjusting your child's hearing aid and helping them understand their new device. Some hearing aid features can be made more adaptable for children. For instance, opting for a larger hearing aid that's easy to adjust is key. Using a programmable hearing aid that has several set profiles rather than adjustment knobs can also simplify the process of getting good hearing care.
To see if your child has experienced hearing loss, visit Snow Creek Medical Center