Hearing loss in kids: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

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hearing loss in kids
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with some level of hearing loss, on average. The first years of a child’s life is critical to their development, physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively. Even a mild hearing problem can affect a youngster’s ability to develop speech and language. The good news though is that hearing issues can be overcome, especially if detected early and treated. It is, therefore, important to know what to look out and what causes hearing loss in kids.

Causes of hearing loss

There are common hearing problems, and hearing loss in children though can result from many factors. They occur in the following circumstances:

  • Premature birth
  • Contracted jaundice that required a blood transfusion
  • Given medication that caused hearning loss
  • Hereditary hearing loss
  • Complications at birth
  • Constant ear infections
  • Exposure to loud noises when young

Those are the main causes of hearing loss in kids.

When to assess hearing?

Each baby should be given a screening to establish their level of hearing. In most instances, hearing loss can be temporary. That is especially true if it links to an infection.

Thus, try have a child’s hearing checked regularly. Alternatively, if you find our child isn’t responding to you calling their name, visit a health professional as soon as possible. The doctor will know what to watch for and if there is an issue.

Knowing the symptoms of hearing loss in kids

Watching out for signs or symptoms of hearing loss is important. Here are some stages to watch for so that you know if there is something off:

  • Your newborn will jump when there is a sudden noise
  • Around 3 months, your child will react to your voice as they now recognize it
  • By 6 months, your child will turn their head towards sounds
  • When they reach their first birthday, your child should be able to imitate some sounds they have heard often, such as Mama or Dada.

What are the types of hearing loss in kids?

There are two different types of hearing loss. One is conductive hearing loss.

This type is caused by a blockage within the inner ear. The most common cause of it is an ear infection, especially in young children. This is often mild and can be cured with medication or minor surgery.

Sensorineural hearing loss is caused when there is damage within the inner ear. This may mean your child will require a hearing aid.

These devices are not as scary as they seem. There are many different auditory aids, such as wireless hearing aids. The wide range available reflects the varying depths of hearing loss in kids and adults, from mild to profound.

How to test a child’s hearing

There are several methods used to test hearing, depending on your child’s age and health.  For example, in behavior tests, an audiologist watches how your child responds to sounds. If your child is of toddler age or a preschooler, the audiologist will watch to see their eye movements in response to a particular sound.

Conclusion

The above information can help you identify the beginnings of hearing loss in your child. It is vitally important to identify any issues as early as possible. That gives your child the best start to life.

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