Hearing Loss in Children
Middle ear infections are very common among young children. They can lead to short term or long term mild to moderately severe level of hearing losses. Clinical studies consistently show that even minimal hearing losses would lead to significant negative impact on the children’s speech and language development. In addition, children with hearing loss often do not appear to understand what is being said and frequently require repetition during daily communications. They might sometimes be accused of "daydreaming," or "not paying attention". Barriers begin to build with negative impact on self-esteem. It is therefore important for parents to observe their children’s behavior and look for signs and symptoms of possible hearing loss.
Following are the signs and symptoms that should make you suspect that your child has a hearing loss and alert you to contact us or your family doctor to have your child’s hearing checked.
- Difficulty locating sounds
- Lack of response to soft speech or when called from a distance
- Inappropriate responses to questions or unable to follow instruction correctly
- Turning head to one side when listening
- Heavily rely on lip-reading in conversations
- Asking for repeats
- Delayed speech development
- Lack of response when background noise is present
- Often turn volume of TV up
- Deteriorating speech
- Poor monitoring of his/her own voice level
- Lack of concentration
- Frequent fatigue or complaints of ear pain or headaches
The hearing ability of all children including newborn infants and young toddlers can be evaluated by either objective or behavioral measurement techniques. Behavioral testing, which might require children to wear headphones and response to sound presented to their ears, provide very useful information about children’s ability to hear well before they can be capable of cooperating in a regular hearing test. From the test result, the type and degree of hearing loss could be identified and appropriate treatments can be provided as soon as possible.