Parents would move mountains to endure their kids are healthy and happy. The simple suspicion that something might be wrong with your little one can make you feel tremendous stress and uncertainty. But, before you get into panic mode, it’s essential to understand the underlying causes of the problem.
Some parents notice that the child has a hearing problem from their very first days. In other cases, it may take a few years until the signs become evident.
Regardless, an early diagnosis is crucial in taking the necessary steps toward the proper management of the problem, whether it means getting them treatment or working around it throughout their development.
Diagnosis of Hearing Problems
The very first hearing test in a child’s life is often done right after birth before they are released from the hospital. If your child hasn’t had one, make an appointment with their pediatrician as soon as possible.
A hearing test in children is done by using electrodes placed on their scalp or simply by observing their response to sounds. The type of hearing test they will get depends on their age and whether they are able to communicate with the medical specialist or not.
When to Get a Hearing Test for Your Child?
If your child hasn’t had a hearing test yet or if the previous tests were positive and parents observe certain symptoms:
- Not reacting to loud noises (by being startled or jumping;)
- Not getting a reaction from them when a parent speaks to them;
- Not turning towards the source of a sound by the age of 6 months old;
- Not starting to say simple words or imitating sounds by the age of 12 months old.
For older children who might lose their hearing partially or completely, symptoms include:
- Delayed speech;
- Not paying attention to the people or events around them;
- Non-responsive when they are called out by name.
Possible Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
Some of the most common causes of hearing problems in children are:
- Problems at birth, whether it’s a genetic condition or an issue that appeared during pregnancy or labor
- Illnesses: otitis, measles, the flu, chickenpox, meningitis, encephalitis can all lead to hearing loss in certain circumstances
- Injury: injuries from head trauma or even very loud noises can affect your child’s hearing
Treatment of Hearing Problems in Kids
Determining the cause of the hearing problem is the first crucial step to be taken before identifying the best treatment, which may include:
- Antibiotics to fight infection, and ear tubes that can drain any liquid inside the ear;
- Surgery to get hearing aids or using a portable hearing device.
Getting early treatment and support for children with hearing problems and their parents will greatly influence the child’s development and ability to manage their limitations. Our medical specialists at Pediatric Associates of Franklin are ready to support you through every step of the process and help you and your child get the best possible outcome and enjoy your happy moments together to the fullest.