Reports estimate that approximately 2 out of every 100 children are affected by a hearing loss. There are several potential causes for hearing loss in children, ranging from genetics and environmental factors to complications during birth and so on. When a child is diagnosed with hearing loss, it can be an overwhelming experience for the parents. However, early intervention is the best way to ensure your child receives adequate treatment. By understanding pediatric hearing loss, you can be better equipped to identify signs of a hearing impairment.
Types of Pediatric Hearing Loss
There are two types of hearing loss in children. Congenital hearing loss is present at the time of birth. There are many causes of congenital hearing loss, such as genetic factors, premature delivery or a nervous disorder, but they be difficult to identify. The second type of pediatric hearing loss is acquired hearing loss. This type of loss is acquired after birth and may be caused by injury, infection, noise exposure or other environmental influences.
Signs of Hearing Loss
It can be challenging to identify a hearing loss in children, particularly if they are not yet speaking or the hearing loss is mild to moderate. Some signs you may look for are:
- Does your child react to loud sounds? (0-4 months)
- Are they calmed by a familiar voice? (0-4 months)
- Do they smile or react when you speak? (4-9 months)
- Are they babbling? (9-15 months)
- Are they repeating sounds that you make? (15-24 months)
These may not necessarily indicate the presence of a hearing loss, but if your child is not exhibiting these behaviors in the expected timeframe, we recommend communications testing. This will help in the diagnosis of any hearing or speech disorders.
If your child is diagnosed with a hearing or speech impairment, there are many treatments and therapies available. Your child may work with an audiology professional or speech pathologist to improve their communication abilities.
If your child is experiencing a communication delay, Heuser Hearing Institute can help. We seek to educate, coach and empower students and their parents through our home-based services. We also offer preschool and kindergarten programs to Louisville residents. To learn more about pediatric hearing loss, contact our office at (502) 584-3573.