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Symptoms and Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

Hearing loss can happen at any time, and can affect a child’s ability to learn, speak, communicate and comprehend if not caught early. Children imitate sounds to learn to communicate – if they have hearing loss they can miss much of the language and speech that is going on around them.

Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

A number of factors can lead to childhood hearing loss and can occur if a child:

  • Was born prematurely or had complications at birth
  • Has a family history of childhood hearing loss
  • Was exposed to very loud sounds or noises
  • Suffered from infections such as meningitis
  • Was given medications that can contribute to hearing loss

Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Children

Some possible symptoms of hearing loss to watch out for – does your child:

  • Not react to or get startled by loud noises?
  • Not imitate sounds or say simple words like “mama”?
  • Not recognize a parent’s voice?
  • Pull at or rub their ears? Complain of ear pain? Or suffer from frequent ear infections?
  • Not respond when called or spoken to? Or answers inappropriately?
  • Turn up the television to excessive volumes?
  • Ask “What?!” a lot?
  • Have problems articulating or mispronounce words regularly?
  • Have learning problems in school?

These are only some of the indicators that your child may have a hearing problem. If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, contact your family doctor or local audiologist for testing and/or treatment.

How Hearing is Tested in Children

There are different, age appropriate methods for testing hearing in infants and children depending on their age and developmental status. Behavioral tests watch for how a child responds to sounds and loud noises. Physiological tests are used for children who are too young for behavioral tests, and partially measure hearing function to help find which auditory system isn’t functioning as it should. After your child has been tested, the audiologist will discuss the results with you as well as the recommended treatment, if applicable. For cases where a hearing aid is recommended, Beltone has several options available. Contact your local dispenser for details.

If you suspect that your child may have a hearing problem, act now! Have them tested as soon as possible to avoid further speech and developmental delays.

John Cariola, Au.D.
John has been working in the audiology industry since 1983 and has a true love and passion for everything the hearing health world has to offer. He grew up witnessing the British Invasion of The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, etc. which really means he started out life with sound, really loud sound. And his passion for all sound continues today. John is currently Beltone's Director of Product Management. More About John

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