Hearing loss is commonly thought of as an issue that affects older adults. However, many people are unaware that it can impact even the youngest children. 5 out of every 1,000 infants have some hearing loss, and 32 million people under 15 have hearing loss. Hearing loss in children and teenagers brings with it a unique set of developmental issues.
What causes hearing loss in children?
A variety of factors can cause hearing loss in children. The most common is genetic - one out of every two instances is passed down from parents. One-third of these cases are syndromic, meaning they appear as a symptom of another disorder, such as Down's syndrome. Ototoxic medicine or drug and alcohol usage by the mother during pregnancy could also be factors.
Signs of a hearing loss in your child
You can tell if your child has a disability by looking for the following signs:
Newborns to two years old: After their first birthday, infants cannot produce different words such as "mama." Loud noises do not shock the child, and they do not tilt their heads away from the source of loud noises. They can hear some sounds but are unable to identify others.
Children aged 2 to 16 years: They don't follow simple age-appropriate instructions. It's possible that their speech will be slurred or that their responses to your questions will be delayed. They may be watching TV with the volume turned up too high, and they might complain about how difficult it is for them to understand during lessons at school.
It's a difficult time for any family when their child is diagnosed with hearing loss. Even if the problem is not their responsibility, parents frequently blame themselves.
The most crucial thing for parents is to identify their child's hearing loss as soon as possible. Children with hearing loss can develop communication abilities as quickly as those with normal hearing, according to studies. With early diagnosis and proper treatment, children with hard of hearing can develop communication skills as soon as normal hearing. Early detection is particularly critical since children need to be exposed to speech sounds as soon as possible to develop their language skills.
The next steps
The first step for infants who have hearing problems is to see their pediatrician or primary care physician. The doctor evaluates the cause of the hearing loss and refers you to the relevant specialist. When a kid is born with hearing loss, an audiologist is usually involved. Here at Hearing Solution Center, we perform tests to evaluate your child's hearing loss severity, then fit them with the hearing devices. A speech and language therapist is involved in the next course. They will monitor the child's language development regularly to ensure that it is on track.
Do you have concerns about your child's ability to hear? Call us to see if we can help.