Pediatric Hearing Loss
Hearing loss isn’t confined to older adults: children of all ages can experience a loss of hearing. Roughly three out of 1000 babies are born with hearing loss, and its prevalence is increasing in adolescents. Noise-induced hearing loss is largely responsible for this increase. If you suspect your child is having difficulty hearing, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Delaying can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
There are three main causes of hearing loss in children. Congenital factors contribute to children who are born with hearing problems because of genetic issues, prenatal problems, or premature birth. Otitis media (ear infection) is 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.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
How can you tell if your child might have a hearing loss? There are a number of signs that should prompt you to have your child’s hearing tested ASAP. 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 (i.e. Down syndrome or autism).
- Family history of hearing loss.