Hearing loss in children: what you should know
Hearing loss in children has the potential to negatively impact on speech and social skills development—this is why early detection is essential.
At Hearsafe Australia, we are passionate about hearing protection and assisting all Australians to experience optimal hearing health. If you’re concerned about hearing loss in children and would like to better educate yourself in this field, have a read of the helpful guide below that our team has put together.
Different types of hearing problems in children
There is a range of different hearing issues that children can be born with or potentially develop over time. Children may experience temporary hearing loss or permanent hearing loss. Some causes of temporary hearing loss in children include a build-up of wax inside the ear canal, excess mucus in the eustachian tube caused by the common cold or an ear infection such as otitis media.
Permanent hearing loss in children may be due to hereditary conditions which have resulted in the inner ear not fully developing, certain diseases such as meningitis or exposure to loud noises like firecrackers or loud music.
Signs your child is experiencing hearing loss
If you are concerned your child may be experiencing hearing loss, there are a few signs to look out for including:
- Complaining of a ringing sound in their ears
- Not responding when their name is called
- Speaking too loudly
- Watching television or playing video games with the volume excessively loud
- Pronouncing words incorrectly
It’s important that if you have any concerns regarding your child’s hearing, to have them professionally tested as soon as possible.
Treatment for hearing loss in children
Depending on the severity of the child’s hearing loss, there are many treatments to assist them. Hearing aids are available for children to amplify sounds, while regular visits to a speech therapist may also assist. If the hearing loss is due to otitis media or another form of ear infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Hearing loss prevention
If a circumstance arises where your child may be exposed to loud noises, for example, at a music concert, precautions should be taken to protect their hearing. Depending on the age of the child, noise-cancelling earmuffs or earplugs are recommended.