Hearing loss impairs one’s ability to hear and understand speech. It can occur in children and teens due to exposure to loud noises or music. Hearing loss can happen when a kid is exposed to loud sounds for an extended period, such as attending a music event or going on a hunting expedition and being exposed to gunfire even for a day.
Sensorineural, conductive, and mixed hearing loss are the three basic types of hearing loss. The following are the details and symptoms of each.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when the inner ear is damaged, or the hearing nerve is damaged. Both are caused by exposure to loud noise or prolonged exposure to loud sounds.
This form of hearing loss usually is not curable medically or surgically; however, many persons with this type of hearing loss find that hearing aids can be helpful.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss occurs when the eardrum is damaged, or there is a blockage in the ear canal. This can be remedied by warm water to clean the ear or drops to loosen the wax buildup. Most conductive hearing losses can be helped through non-surgical treatments.
Most people who have conductive hearing loss can improve it with lifestyle changes or medical or surgical treatment. Conductive hearing loss is most frequent in children who have had chronic ear infections or put things into their ears.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Persons can have both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. They could have sensorineural hearing loss and then develop a conductive component.
Mixed hearing loss occurs when the inner ear and the hearing nerve are damaged. It is rare in children and even more rare in teens.
How Can Children and Teens Prevent Hearing Loss?
Certain individuals are born deaf. However, hearing loss can develop gradually over time or manifest itself later in life. Hearing loss may run in families or be caused by birth abnormalities, infections, or medications that cause ear damage. These types of hearing loss are incurable. However, there is something you can do about noise-induced hearing loss.
(1) Wear ear protection while engaged in activities that generate loud noises, such as concerts, sporting events, and hunting trips.
(2) Use ear protection when using power tools, even if the device has a built-in hearing protector.
(3) Wear headphones/earphones for two hours every day. Headphones (over-the-ear) are favored over in-the-ear earphones (e.g., AirPods) because they are located further away from the eardrum. Noise-canceling earbuds are preferable over non-canceling earphones.
Depending on the type and severity of your child’s hearing loss, there is equipment that can help them access sound. Access to sound can aid your child’s development of spoken language. Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants are among them.
By learning about the risk factors of noise-induced hearing loss, we can reduce the likelihood of this disability. The key is prevention. It is better to prevent this risk factor than to treat it after the fact. Prevention aside, it is important to also understand that there are treatments available to restore hearing. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are among them.
There are also lifestyle changes one can make to improve hearing. Lastly, it is important to be aware that hearing loss may run in families; sometimes, hearing loss is genetic, so it is important to get an opinion if your child appears to be losing his/her hearing.
If you suspect that your child has a hearing loss, get your child evaluated by the best hearing specialist in Rhode Island. Hear More Associates is the most trusted hearing care specialist looking after patients throughout Lexington and Boston, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Schedule your appointment today!