In the first part of this article from Hear More Associates, we have covered the causes and symptoms of hearing loss in children. In this second part, your trusted hearing specialists discuss the treatment options available for children with hearing loss:
Importance of Early Identification and Management
When children are identified early and have an opportunity to have the hearing problem remedied, they have an opportunity to learn speech and language in a normal manner and a high chance of doing well in school. In the process, they will develop the essential skills they need to live a normal, productive life.
By the time a child is in school, he or she has already lost a significant amount of information. If a hearing problem is identified, the child can be helped by the school to make up the information that was missed. But, if the hearing problem is not identified until later in life, a person may be considered to be a slow learner. This could affect the person’s self-esteem and the degree of success he or she may have in school and in adult life.
Hearing Loss Treatment Options for Children
Antibiotics for Infections
In some cases, infections may be the cause of hearing loss in children. If a child has a middle ear infection and is also having difficulty hearing, an antibiotic may be prescribed. Antibiotics will not help if the hearing loss is conductive, but they may help if the hearing loss is caused by a middle ear infection.
Children with an untreated middle ear infection can develop hearing loss that is permanent.
Grommets for Severe Infections
Grommets are tiny rubber plugs that may be placed in the eardrum during a minor surgical procedure. Grommets are placed when children have a severe infection in the middle ear. They help by keeping the Eustachian tube open and draining the middle ear. This helps to eliminate fluids and keep the middle ear open.
Grommets are generally very effective in helping to alleviate the pressure caused by an infection. They can also help a child hear more clearly. In many cases, children with grommets will receive a hearing aid. In other cases, hearing aids will be placed in both ears. The hearing aids will help children to hear better, but the grommets will prevent the fluid from building up again.
Hearing aids can be very helpful in treating hearing loss in children.
In the past, there were two basic types of hearing aids available for children: BTE (behind the ear) and ITE (in the ear). In recent years, new technology has led to the development of a completely new type of hearing aid for children.
The latest type of hearing aid for children is called the ITC (in the canal) hearing aid. The ITC hearing aid is small and fits inside the ear canal.
A special molding process called custom earmoulds is used to ensure that the ITC hearing aid stays in the ear. In order to give the ITC hearing aid a more natural appearance inside the ear, a clear plastic tube called an earmold is used.
The ITC hearing aid can be very effective in helping children with hearing loss. It is also less visible than other types of hearing aids.
What Support Can the Family Give Children with Hearing Loss?
Parents can support children with hearing loss by encouraging them to attend speech and language therapy. In addition, there are a number of other things parents can do at home to help children with hearing loss.
Every child with a hearing loss is unique. There may be some children who will participate in the same activities with the same skills as their peers, while others may need more specialized programs. Whatever the case, parents should keep their child’s abilities and needs in mind when deciding on how to support them at home.
If you suspect your child has hearing loss, it is important to have them evaluated. This can be done by a physician or a hearing specialist.
Hear More Associates is a hearing clinic in Massachusetts that provides hearing evaluations and hearing aids to children. Schedule your appointment with our hearing experts today!