Hearing Loss in Children
Take yourself back to your childhood. The sound of laughter, the smell of chocolate, the taste of ice cream, the touch of a teddy, the sight of a play park or sand on the beach. So much of our young lives were filled with discovery of our five senses! Adventure after adventure opened us up to a whole world of possibilities. Our imaginations were alive and bursting with creativity. It is the same for every child today. Each day is a new voyage of discovery.
But what happens when the child loses one of their senses? Take for example hearing. This can have a detrimental effect on their overall development. The world becomes a very different place in which to inhabit. The good news is that when it comes to hearing loss and children, over 60% of hearing loss is preventable! But as with all things, the sooner one takes action, the better.
Just after the birth of a child, a neonatal hearing test can be taken to examine the child’s hearing. This is a pain free exam which determines the hearing health of the child a few days after birth. If the child does not pass the test, you should consult one of our paediatric audiologists at your earliest convenience.
If your child is older and is presenting with difficulty in hearing or speech development, it is also important to make an appointment to see a paediatric audiologist as soon as possible.
Remember the quicker the action, the better the outcome!
What Causes Hearing Loss in Children?
Hearing loss in children can occur for various reasons. Congenital hearing loss is the term given to hearing loss at birth. Hearing loss that occurs after birth is referred to as acquired hearing loss.
⭐Genetic factors can contribute greatly to congenital hearing loss, but it can also arise from other things, such as infection during pregnancy, prematurity, birth injuries, etc.
⭐Acquired hearing loss can also arise from many different things, such as frequent ear infections, infections like meningitis or the measles, head injuries, and over exposure to very loud noises.
Often your child will show no indication of hearing loss, but it is still important to ensure they receive a hearing screening as they grow. It can be difficult to pick up on milder hearing loss and so, screenings are recommended at various key moments in a child’s development: when they start going to school, at least once during primary school and once during secondary school.
Hearing screening is usually required more often for children with other health or learning needs; family history of early hearing loss, language, speech or developmental delays; are all risk factors and as such, require more frequent testing.
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