We often associate certain conditions and problems with different age groups. Hearing loss may often be thought of as a problem mainly for older adults but it can be a problem for infants, children and adolescents. Approximately one in every one thousand infants suffers from significant hearing loss. Ear infections can cause hearing loss in young children. These are some of the most common ENT problems in children and it has been estimated that at least 83% of all kids will have at least one in ear infection by the time they reach the age of three.
If you are concerned about possible hearing loss in your infant or child, it is important to know that the earlier you seek out help, the more effective it can be at being successful in helping your child. There are some things you should look for in infants and young children.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Infants:
- After they reach six months, make sure they turn to look for the source of a noise.
- They do not get startled by loud and sudden noises. If the neighbor’s car back fires and they do not respond, for example, there may be a problem with their hearing.
- They do not respond to their name. They may just be ignoring you but if it happens a lot, you may want to talk to your pediatrician.
- They seem selective in the sounds they respond to. This may be on purpose but it could indicate they have a problem with their hearing.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Young Children:
- They do not talk as much as other children of the same age do. There can be a number of reasons for this but hearing loss is a common cause.
- Their speech is not as easily understood. One of the most common causes of problems with a child’s speech is hearing loss.
- How well do they follow instructions? Parents sometime assume that their child is ignoring instructions but they may not have heard them correctly.
- They play the TV, music or their video games much too loud.
There are some milestones that show how well children and infants are developing. If your child is not reaching some of them when you expect them to or when other children do, this could be a sign of a problem. When it comes to hearing loss, this can very dramatically impact their behavior and how they learn, play and communicate. There may be other factors involved but it is worth looking into hearing loss as a possible cause of any delays in reaching those milestones.
Get Your Child Checked.
The most important thing you can do for your child, if you are concerned about hearing loss or anything else, is to check with your pediatrician and have them tested. This is a simple and painless process that takes just a few minutes. For infants, the tests can even be completed when they are asleep. You cannot much more pain free than that!
For the most part, the vast majority of infants are tested for problems with their hearing before they ever leave the hospital in the first place. If this was not done for your child, you should make sure they receive tests for hearing loss by the time they reach the age of one month. If the tests show any problems, you should have your child checked again before they get to three months old. Hearing lo
There is no set timetable of when children should be tested for hearing loss. Many experts recommend testing be completed before they start school but it is important to pay attention to their development and check if you suspect there are problems. If one test shows problems, further screening may be needed.
What Should I Do?
There is no “one size fits all” for hearing loss in infants, children, adolescents or adults. There are a number of things you can do to help your child if they suffer from any hearing loss. Ear infections are some of the most common ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents and should be treated as needed. If your child suffers from breathing difficulties or sleep disordered breathing, you should have these things checked out by your pediatrician.