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Hearing loss in children

 Hearing loss in children

How do you know if your little one has partial or total hearing loss? Here are the main signs and causes of hearing loss in children and ways to treat them.

Hearing loss in children

We will learn the following about the most important information about hearing loss in children:

Hearing loss in children

Hearing loss can affect children's speech, language, and social communication skills and hinder their development.

Hearing loss in children arises when any part of the ear becomes defective, and this includes the outer ear, middle ear, inner ear, auditory nerves, and the auditory system.
It is worth noting that the earlier children with hearing loss begin to receive treatment, the more likely they will be fully recovered, so parents should watch for signs of hearing loss in their children and get a hearing test as soon as possible.

Symptoms of hearing loss in children

You should continue to watch for signs that your child's hearing is progressing normally, even if your newborn's hearing test shows that it is fine. Some of the signs that your baby is completely or partially losing hearing are as follows:

  1. Your newborn baby is not surprised when you make a sudden laugh.
  2. A three-month-old does not recognize his parents' voice.
  3. A 6-month-old baby cannot direct his head and eyes toward the sound.
  4. A year-old child cannot repeat sounds and speak some words, such as: mama or dad.
Signs of hearing loss in your older child may be:

  • Slurred speech.
  • Difficulty learning.
  • Inability to hear the television at the level that others can hear.
  • Inability to respond to conversations.
  • Not paying attention when someone calls their name.

Causes of hearing loss in children

There are many reasons that may lead children to completely or partially lose their sense of hearing. The causes of hearing loss in children include the following:

  • Adhesive ear, fluid buildup in the middle ear which is common in young children.
  • Infections that develop in the womb or at birth, such as rubella or cytomegalovirus, that can cause progressive hearing loss.
  • Inherited health conditions, such as otosclerosis that prevent the ears or nerves from working properly.
  • Damage to the cochlear or auditory nerves that transmit hearing signals to the brain. This could be caused by a severe head injury, exposure to loud noise, or head surgery.
  • Low oxygen at birth.
  • Diseases, such as: meningitis and encephalitis, cause swelling of the brain.
  • Cold, which causes temporary hearing loss.

Diagnosis of hearing loss in children

An audiologist usually performs hearing tests for children who fail the newborn hearing screen or who show signs of hearing loss. The tests include:

  • An auditory brainstem response test that checks the brain's response to sound.
  • An acoustic emission test that checks the inner ear's response to sound.
  • Behavioral audiometry evaluation to see how the child responds to sound in general.
  • A pure hearing test that measures hearing levels.

Treating hearing loss in children

There is not only one treatment to get rid of hearing loss in children, good treatment plans may include careful monitoring of the child's condition in addition to the use of some means to facilitate his life, such as:

  • Teaching the child other ways to communicate, such as sign language.
  • Your child's use of assistive communication technology, such as a cochlear implant.
  • Medical surgery to correct some types of partial hearing loss.