Pediatric Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is difficult at any age. In children, it’s particularly challenging, as it creates a barrier to learning. Fortunately, many causes of pediatric hearing loss are treatable, and it is often possible to return the sounds of childhood to a young life.

Categories of Hearing Loss

As with adults, hearing loss in children is measured in degrees. The loss can range from mild, one that causes difficulty hearing hushed tones such as whispers, to moderately severe, where the child can still hear loud speech, to a total loss resulting in deafness. Pediatrics Audiology Pediatric hearing loss falls into two main categories. A conductive loss is associated with conditions in the external or middle ear that block the transmission of sound, and is the most common type. Ear infections, fluid or foreign objects in the in the ear, impacted earwax, a perforated eardrum, or a birth defect that alters the shape of the ear canal are all common causes. Many of these conditions can be treated through minor procedures or surgery. Sensorineural hearing loss, or nerve deafness, involves a problem with the inner ear or central auditory pathway to the brain. This can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, the use of ototoxic drugs such as antibiotics, premature birth, and other congenital factors. There is no cure for sensorineural hearing loss, but in most cases hearing aids help restore the ability to communicate.

Symptoms

Signs that might indicate hearing issues in children of different ages:
  • Newborn/Infant: Not startling at loud noises; delayed speech development.
  • Toddler and Older: Having difficulty in school; not responding to somebody who is speaking unless face to face with that person; watching TV at an excessively loud volume; stating that he/she is having trouble hearing.
Hearing loss in adolescents is most often associated with prolonged exposure to loud noise, particularly given the widespread popularity of ear buds, in-ear speakers that are standard with mp3 players. As many as 1 in 5 children are affected by a slight to mild hearing loss, which can negatively impact social-emotional development, lead to speech impairment, and impede overall academic performance. If you believe your child has a hearing loss, please schedule an appointment to meet with one of our Audiologists. Timely hearing testing, diagnosis and treatment will provide the best course of action ensuring the highest quality lifetime experiences for your child. Contact us today to book your appointment.