Whether you are young or old, you may experience hearing loss. Noise is responsible for hearing loss in nearly 12 percent of kids from age 6 through 19 says the American Academy of Audiology. Of all birth defects, hearing loss presents itself more often than any other congenital defect in the United States. Nearly 12,000 children are born each year with some type of hearing loss says the American Speech and Language Association.
Childhood hearing losses aren’t necessarily lifelong.
– Not all hearing loss is the result of a long term permanent defect. Minor conditions such as a build up of earwax or an infection could cause reversible hearing loss. Some conditions resulting in hearing loss are temporary and can be resolved with medical treatment or minor surgery. When ear infections are not treated promptly, there is a risk of permanent hearing loss so medical treatment should be sought promptly.
Early intervention can improve language skills in children with hearing loss. – Early identification and assessment of hearing losses is vital. Studies have shown that infants whose hearing loss is detected after 6 months of age did comparably worse on language skill development compared to infants where the loss was detected and treated before 6 months.
Hearing loss may delay your child’s ability to learn normal language skills. – Language development in the brain of children is at its highest level between age 0 and 3. Young children need to have proper hearing function in order to develop normal speech patterns. Language skills are vital in order for kids to go on to learn how to read effectively.
Permanent hearing loss can be avoided. – There are types of hearing loss that are preventable, including noise related damage to the hearing. Using protective ear plugs or ear muffs is a must for protecting kids from noise induced hearing loss. Also, parents should lower the volume on stereos and other electronics.
Parents may be the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in kids.
– Parents are many times the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in infants such as: no reaction to noises made by toys or not making babbling sounds like normal infants. At 9 months your baby should respond to the sound of his/her name, repeat back some noises he/she hears and follow simple commands. To learn more about recommended screenings and benchmarks to evaluate normal hearing in young kids, consult a hearing specialist or audiologist.