Hearing Problems In Children
Most children hear and listen from the moment they are born. They learn to talk by imitating the sounds around them and the voices of their parents and caregivers. But not all children - about 2 or 3 out of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born deaf or hard-of-hearing. More lose their hearing later during childhood.
Babies should have a hearing screening before they are a month old. If your child has hearing loss, it is important to consider the use of hearing devices and other communication options by age 6 months, because children start learning speech and language long before they talk.
Hearing problems can be temporary or permanent. Sometimes,ear infections, injuries or diseases affect hearing. If your child does not hear well, get help.
What Are The Signs Of A Hearing Problem In A Young Child ?
Signs of hearing loss in very young children may not be easy to notice. Hearing problems may not become obvious until children are 12 to 18 months of age, when they should begin saying their first words. Children who can't hear well often respond to their environment by using their senses of sight and touch, which can hide their hearing problems.
Children who are born with hearing problems can usually be diagnosed with a hearing screening. All babies should have a hearing screening within 1 month after being born. Many hospitals screen newborn babies for hearing problems. If your newborn baby has not had a hearing screening, talk with your doctor.
While the most common indicators of hearing loss in babies and very young children are often noticed by the simple observation of parents and doctors, there are two commonly used tests to diagnose hearing loss in older kids. Most commonly, children are diagnosed using an audiometer, which emits a series of sounds at varying tones and volumes. The technician can then get a good idea of the child's hearing abilities. The second method involves auditory brainstream response testing, which measures brain activity in response to sound stimuli.
Treatment for hearing loss varies, based on the cause and severity of the problem. Some commonly used treatments include antibiotics to clear up infection, removal of wax or foreign objects, hearing aids, vibrotactile aids (which translate sounds into vibrations that are felt through the skin), and cochlear implants, which are most effective when used early in life. Additionally, speech therapy is important for kids who experience any type of permanent hearing loss to help them to maximise their communication skills.
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