Loss of hearing can occur during childhood, adolescents, or even at birth. In fact, nearly 12 percent of kids age 6 through 19 have noise induced hearing loss according to the American Academy of Audiology. The birth defect occurring most frequently in our country is hearing loss. In fact, the American Speech and Language Association reports that approximately 12,000 babies are born each year with hearing loss.
Kids with hearing impairment can benefit greatly from early diagnosis and treatment. – Early detection is vital. When hearing loss is caught early, children’s language skills develop normally. Studies have shown that infants whose hearing loss is detected after 6 months of age did comparably worse on language skill development compared to infants where the loss was detected and treated before 6 months.
Some hearing loss in kids can be reversible.
– Not all hearing loss is the result of a long term permanent defect. Minor conditions such as a build up of earwax or an infection could cause reversible hearing loss. Early intervention such as minor surgery or medical treatment could reverse temporary hearing loss in some instances. Ear infections left untreated could cause permanent hearing loss, so be sure to seek medical attention right away when there is a possibility of ear infections.
Not all hearing loss is permanent. – You may not realize that noise related hearing loss is very common and it can be avoided all together. Protect your kids’ ears with ear plugs and/or earmuffs and turn down the volume on the stereo, television, game systems and MP3 player to avoid noise related hearing loss in your children and teens.
Hearing loss could delay language development. – During the formative years between birth and 3, kids have a keen ability to learn language skills. Young children need to have proper hearing function in order to develop normal speech patterns. In order for children to learn proper reading skills, they must first develop good language skills.
Parents may be the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in kids.
– In many instances parents are the very first to notice something is not quite right in young kids with hearing loss. Signs to watch for include: response to music and making jabbering sounds. When babies are nine months or older you should notice that they understand and respond to basic requests and mimic sounds and noises made by others. To learn more about recommended screenings and benchmarks to evaluate normal hearing in young kids, consult a hearing specialist or audiologist.