Are you worried about the hearing health of your child? Read on to know the top causes, their symptoms, and treatment for hearing loss in a child. Here are the most popular hearing loss causes in a child, their symptoms, and ways to prevent them.
- Causes of Hearing Loss in Children:
All possible causes of hearing loss in children are either congenital or acquired. Congenital hearing loss is the condition of impairment present at birth. Acquired cases, on the other hand, occur as the child grows. Let’s explore these categories in detail:
- Congenital Causes:
Due to the presence of many factors, determining the exact cause of congenital hearing loss is not straight-forward. Such hearing loss in children may be due to:
- Genetic Disorders: Genetic factors contribute to more than 50% of the total congenital cases of hearing loss. If one or both the parents have hearing loss, there are chances of its transmission due to the dominant gene. Even if both the parents have normal hearing, their child can experience hearing loss at birth due to the passing of the recessive gene.
- Conditions During Pregnancy: Infections like rubella and cytomegalovirus in a pregnant woman can result in hearing loss of the child at birth. Maternal diabetes and toxemia during pregnancy can also cause congenital hearing loss.
- Apart from these conditions during pregnancy, circumstances at the time of birth can also cause hearing loss. Premature delivery, lack of oxygen, and lower birth weight can cause congenital hearing loss.
- Acquired Causes:
Acquired causes refer to infections within the body or external parameters during the early years of a child.
- Otitis Media is a common infection in young children. This infection arises due to the build-up of fluids behind the eardrum of a child. The accumulation of fluid can affect hearing, and if it lasts long, it can even lead to permanent hearing loss.
- Loud music from headphones, music players, etc. can cause irreparable damage to the soft ear tissues of young children. Similarly, intense noise from heavy machinery, fireworks, etc. can result in hearing loss.
- Diseases like chickenpox, measles, and common flu can also result in hearing loss in children. Certain medicines containing autotoxin antibiotics can lead to permanent hearing loss.
- Symptoms of Hearing Loss:
For all the acquired causes mentioned above, you can notice early signs by paying close attention to your baby’s activities. Some of the crucial milestones according to the age of a child are:
- Infants (up to 4 months old):
- Notice sudden sounds and turn his head towards its source.
- Respond to the voice of parents by smiling.
- 4 to 12 Months:
- Notice the toys which make a sound.
- Exhibit cooing and babbling sounds.
- Make repetitive single-syllable sound.
- 12 to 24 Months:
- Use voice to draw your attention.
- Follow basic commands.
- Respond to their names.
- Listen to rhymes and music with interest.
- Older Children (Above 2 years):
It is a bit easier to detect hearing loss in pre-school aged children. Here are some signs to watch out for:
- Difficulty in understanding simple sentences.
- Difficulty in responding when you address them.
- Watching TV in high volume.
- Apart from these symptoms, a child with Otitis Media might itch his ear or complain about an earache. Additionally, if you notice he is visibly irritated or has stopped paying attention, you should consult an Audiologist.
- Hearing Loss Treatments:
If detected at an early age, it is possible to prevent hearing loss in a child. A World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates that in 60% of cases, adopting suitable preventive measures can circumvent hearing loss in children.
To provide effective treatment, proper diagnosis of the root cause is essential. Once you know the cause and extent of hearing loss, here are some of the options for the treatment.
- Hearing Aids:
Hearing aids are one of the main treatments for hearing loss in a child. You can compare and buy different hearing aids online.
Specially designed hearing aids for kids offer clear and high-quality sound to assist hearing. These solutions conceal different hearing aid parts and are quite discreet.
- Hearing Implants:
Another prominent technique for treating hearing loss in kids is using Cochlear implants. These artificial devices provide electrical stimulation to the auditory nerves in the inner ear of the child.
- Listening devices:
Many schools use FM systems for assisted listening in their classes. In an FM system, the teacher uses a mic to instruct the kids. A receiver in the child’s ear can pick up the signal either directly or through a hearing aid. Such an arrangement improves the hearing capability of the child in a noisy classroom.
Advancement in medical technology allows us to determine the causes of hearing loss in a child as well as the necessary treatments for their prevention. Staying in touch with your children and noticing their daily activities can help in the early detection of hearing problems.
Hearing aids allow your child to participate more in daily activities. Hearing aids for sale are available in different types to suit the requirements of your child.