As a parent, it seems like you always need to be on the lookout for signs that something could be wrong with your child.
One of the trickiest things to determine is whether or not your child has hearing loss. Here are a few facts to keep in mind about hearing loss in children.
If your baby spends extended time in a neonatal intensive care unit or is born prematurely, these events could impact their hearing.
Causes of Hearing Loss
It's also worth noting that severe and persistent ear infections can cause hearing damage, as can some medications. Exposing your infant or child to very loud noises can also cause hearing loss in children.
Some signs of hearing loss have to do with certain developmental stages most children go through, including language development.
Signs or Symptoms in Infants
When an infant is about six months old, he should be able to turn his eyes toward noises. When your baby reaches one year of age, he likely will be able to repeat a few phonetic sounds that he hears from his parents.
Signs or Symptoms in Toddlers
Most young children who are inattentive or have limited or poor speech skills may have mild hearing loss or moderate hearing loss.
These sorts of hearing loss symptoms may also manifest in other ways, such as your child needing the television turned up to a higher than normal volume or even having learning delays.
One of the most common kinds of hearing loss in children is conductive hearing loss, which is generally caused by a blockage in the child's inner ear.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is treatable and usually only mild.
Sensorineural hearing loss can be much more serious, since this is usually caused by permanent damage.
Sensorineural hearing loss has a few different stages, including mild, moderate, severe and profound hearing loss. It's also possible for children to experience mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss.
Nobody wants their children to have to deal with medical tests, but sometimes a hearing screening is an important test to insist on. It can rule out something more serious and help your child get treatment for a hearing problem if necessary.
If you're concerned about your child's hearing, talk to their pediatrician and see about getting an appointment.
Austin Pacheco, Jakob Owens, Dakota Corbin, Ben White, Marisa Howenstine