Hearing loss can happen to anybody at any age, and pediatric hearing loss can lead to far more severe consequences you might expect. Knowing the signs and symptoms of hearing loss is essential so that you can identify it as early as possible and receive prompt care for your child.
Childhood Hearing Loss
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss. So, what causes hearing loss for pediatric patients?
As with adult hearing loss, there are several common causes. Some children are born with hearing loss, this is called congenital hearing loss, and can be inherited or due to prenatal infections or disease. Others may have hearing loss due to complications from any number of illnesses.
The most prevalent cause of hearing loss in young children is a complication from an ear infection. Recent studies show that by the time they are three years old, 75 percent of children will experience at least one bout of otitis media.
Many of these children experience fluctuating hearing loss due to the presence of fluid that accompanies the infection. The fluid is thin and transparent in mild cases. However, if the fluid becomes thicker and/or dark, it may lead to pain and discomfort and possibly result in permanent loss of hearing.
What Effect Does Hearing Loss Have on Young Children?
Permanent pediatric hearing loss can affect a child's life profoundly.
The early years of childhood are a crucial time when there is an enormous amount of growth. Hearing plays a significant role in that development. Speech and language development may be impaired by poor hearing ability, as listening and communicating are essential to general speech and language development.
Emotional, social, and intellectual development can, in turn, be affected when dealing with limited language and verbal skills, and a child may suffer both socially and academically. Even children with mild hearing loss or hearing loss in one ear only, can experience developmental delays.
How to Tell if Your Child Has Hearing Loss
If you suspect your child has an ear infection, even if your child has no discomfort, there are a couple of tell-tale signs you can look for:
- They pull or pinch their ears frequently
- They misunderstand what has been said
- They lose focus easily when you talk to them
- They respond inappropriately to your words
Early Treatment Is the Key
Treating hearing loss will help to minimize that chance that your child will grow up facing developmental delays.
We assess the existence and extent of hearing impairment through our hearing tests and recommend medical intervention/treatments with the goal of allowing your child to continue to grow and develop successfully.
When your child is suspected of having hearing loss, there's no time to waste. Visit us for a hearing assessment, so that your child will get the help they need.
"Dr. Kelli was warm yet professional and is clearly knowledgeable. She connected us with the newest technology and presented many, many options for my son to select from to personalize his hearing experience. VERY highly recommend Dr. Kelli Bogue!"