Did you know that there are actually different types of hearing problems children could suffer from? Most of these hearing problems lead to hearing loss which may either be temporary or permanent. It is therefore crucial as parents or caregivers that you recognize the most common signs of hearing problems in a child. The sooner you catch the issue, the higher the chance of it getting reversed or improved.
In this post, the best hearing specialists in Massachusetts will share information on hearing problems in children that you need to be aware of:
What Are the Causes of Hearing Problems in Children?
There are many possible causes of hearing problems in children. For one, some children have congenital hearing problems, meaning they are born with it. When the problem happens later, it is called an acquired hearing loss.
Congenital Hearing Loss
Doctors can usually determine the cause of congenital hearing loss, but there may be instances when it’s hard to identify. The problem can either be genetic or non-genetic.
Here are some of the ways parents can potentially pass hearing loss along to their children:
- Both parents have the recessive gene for hearing loss
- One of the parents has the dominant gene for hearing loss and passed it along
- One or both parents pass along a genetic syndrome like Down Syndrome
Non-genetic causes are usually related to trauma during childbirth or a mother’s illness during pregnancy. Some of these causes include:
- Cytomegalovirus, rubella or German measles, or herpes simplex virus
- Gestational diabetes
- Alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
Acquired Hearing Loss
Acquired hearing loss can happen at any age. The usual causes include an injury or illness like:
- chronic ear infection
- perforated eardrum
- fluid in the middle ear
- constant exposure to deafening noises
- Medicines that could harm the auditory system
- Serious head trauma
- Viruses or infections like chickenpox, encephalitis, measles, and meningitis
Symptoms of Hearing Problems in Children
It’s not as easy to detect hearing problems, especially with babies. Many parents of kids with congenital hearing loss do not notice signs until their child is between the ages of 12 and 18 months. This is right about the time a child is expected to say their first words. Some mistake hearing loss for speech delay. One of the reasons parents might not notice signs of hearing loss is that the child develops the ability to respond to their environment with their sense of sight and touch.
How Are Hearing Problems Diagnosed in Children?
A hearing screening should be performed a month after a child is born. If your child hasn’t had the screening, you should speak with their pediatrician about it. The test is usually performed at a hospital.
Can Hearing Problems Be Prevented?
Most types of congenital hearing problems cannot be avoided, except for those that are caused by a mother’s abuse of alcohol or drugs. As for acquired hearing loss, what you can do to avoid them is to ensure that any infection of the can is immediately treated. You should also make sure that your child wears protective gear when they skate or ride bikes. You should also limit your child’s use of headphones and gadgets that expose them to loud noises.
Hearing loss in children can indeed be a challenge, whether it’s temporary or permanent. If you suspect that your child might have a hearing problem, the first thing that you should do is to take them to the best hearing clinic in your area where they can get screened, diagnosed, and treated, if needed.
If you are in need of hearing specialists in Lexington and Greater Boston, you can find them at Hear More Associates. Contact us today to set an appointment for your child!