Hearing Loss in Children
San Diego kids these days seem indestructible. They jump off monkey bars, flip on trampolines and even dive in the shallow end of the pool. But one thing does seem to catch up to them – hearing loss.
Children of all ages in San Diego and around the country can experience a loss of hearing. Roughly three out of 1000 babies are born with hearing loss, and its prevalence is increasing in adolescents. The increase in use of personal music players may be one of the reasons for a sharp surge in noise-induced hearing loss.
Main Causes of Hearing Loss in Kids
There are three main causes of hearing loss in children:
Congenital factors contribute to children who are born with hearing problems as a result of genetic issues, prenatal problems or premature birth.
Ear infections are also 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.
Hearing Loss Life Events
Acquired hearing loss is triggered by illnesses, physical trauma, exposure to loud noises and medications.
Signs Your Child Can’t Hear Well
But how do you know if your child can’t hear? Unlike adults, children aren’t likely to describe their symptoms in a well-organized list-like format. Your San Diego audiologist suggests familiarizing yourself with a few signs to keep an eye out for. These signs 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
If you notice any of these signs it is important to schedule an appointment with their San Diego audiologist as delaying this can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
Treatment Options for Child Hearing Loss
There are numerous options for treating your child’s hearing disorder, depending upon the type and severity of their condition. Your child’s audiologist may take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to otitis media; chronic cases may be treated with medications or ear tubes that are inserted surgically and allow fluid to drain from the ears. Permanent hearing loss can be treated with hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices that enable a child to communicate.
Treating your child’s hearing loss is a time-sensitive process. The earlier you act, the less chance there is of your child experiencing speech or learning difficulties. If you think your child may be experiencing hearing loss, now is the time to act. Schedule an appointment their San Diego audiologist today.