Much like poor eyesight and back pain, hearing loss is not confined to just older adults. Children of all ages in the Thousand Oaks area and throughout the country can and do experience hearing loss. Roughly three out of 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, and its prevalence is on the rise with adolescents. The most likely cause of this increase is noise-induced hearing loss, which has become more prevalent due to the use of personal music players. If you suspect your child is having difficulty hearing, schedule an appointment with one of the audiologists at Decibel Hearing. Delaying this can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
There are a number of signs that you should be aware of, as they may indicate it is time to bring your child in for a hearing test. These include:
- A delay in speech and language.
- Failure to respond to loud noises or your voice.
- Poor academic performance.
- Frequent ear infections.
- Disorders associated with hearing loss (e.g., Down syndrome or autism).
- Family history of hearing loss.
There are three main causes of hearing loss in children. Congenital factors contribute to children who are born with hearing problems as a result of genetic issues, prenatal problems or premature birth. Ear infections are a very common childhood ailment that occurs when fluid becomes trapped in the middle ear. This condition can lead to difficulty hearing and, in severe cases, may lead to permanent hearing damage. Acquired hearing loss is triggered by illnesses, physical trauma, exposure to loud noises and medications.
Just like there are many causes of hearing loss, there are a number of treatment options available. First things first, a number of hearing tests must be performed. Only then can the type and degree be determined.
If your child’s loss of hearing is caused by ear infections their audiologist may take a wait-and-see approach; chronic cases may be treated with medications or ear tubes that are inserted surgically and allow fluid to drain from the ears. Permanent loss can be treated with digital hearing aids, cochlear implants and other hearing devices that enable a child to communicate.
Loss of hearing in children and adolescents in a time sensitive issue. The longer it goes without being treated the more likely it is that your child could experience speech or learning difficulties. The time is now. If you think your child may be suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss contact Decibel Hearing in Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley to schedule an appointment, today.