Being a kid is great; you don’t have to make (and try to stick to) a budget, do your own laundry or remember to pay your bills. Unfortunately, children are not invincible and can often suffer from conditions that are primarily effecting the older generations. I’m talking about Hearing Loss. About three out of 1,000 babies are born with a hearing impairment, and its prevalence is on the rise with adolescents. The increase in noise-induced hearing loss is thought to be caused by the frequent use of personal music players.
Hearing loss is a serious condition for children in Houston, Texas. Untreated hearing loss can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
Does Your Child Have Hearing Loss?
The easiest way to figure out if your child is suffering from loss of hearing is to be aware of the signs. These 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 (e.g., Down syndrome or autism).
- Family history of hearing loss.
If you notice any of these signs it is important to schedule an appointment for your child at Center for Hearing as soon as possible. Once here, we will run a series of tests in order to determine their type and degree of loss.
Causes of Hearing Loss
There are three main causes of loss of hearing 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 a very common childhood ailment that occurs when fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear. This condition can lead to difficulty hearing and, in severe cases, may lead to permanent hearing damage. Acquired loss is triggered by illnesses, physical trauma, exposure to loud noises and medications.
Just like there are many causes of hearing loss, there are a number of treatment options available.
If your child’s loss is caused by ear infections their audiologist may take a wait-and-see approach. If your child is suffering from chronic ear infections, they may be treated with medications or ear tubes that are inserted surgically and allow fluid to drain from the ears. Permanent loss can be treated with the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants or other hearing devices.
Hearing loss in children and adolescents is a time sensitive issue. The longer they go without being seen by a professional, the more likely it is that your child could experience speech or learning difficulties. If you think your child may be suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss contact Center for Hearing to schedule an appointment today.
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