Hearing loss affects every age group including infants and children. Hearing during infancy and toddler years is especially important to the development of a child. During this time, a child is learning to understand spoken language and they are learning to speak. When children do not hear as well as they should, it can have consequences such as a delay in the child talking.
There are many causes of hearing problems for children that range from mild to severe. A common hearing problem in children is fluid accumulation in the middle ear from allergies, cold or ear infections that creates mild often reversible hearing loss.
When this occurs, normal hearing resumes after the cold or allergies subside and the fluid drains through the Eustachian tube that connects the middle ear to the throat. In some cases, the fluid will stay in the middle ear because the tube is not working properly. After a diagnosis, this can be reversed by medication or a procedure where ear tubes are placed in the eardrum to help drain fluid.
From birth to five years old, routine tests are given to children to screen their hearing ability. These tests can diagnose the level of any hearing loss and the cause. If you believe your child has a hearing problem, hearing tests can also be given at any other time.