During your child’s crucial early developmental years, it is important to check for any problems so you can find the proper treatment. When conditions are left untreated, they can only worsen over time.
Of the many things to check for your children, hearing loss is one of the most important. This is because it can be both hard to immediately diagnose and more irreparable when it hits severe levels. It’s best to look at some of the most common signs and hearing tests you can get.
Otitis Media and Other Causes of Hearing Loss
One big cause of hearing loss in children is otitis media. More commonly referred to as middle ear infection, this condition leaves the middle ear inflamed with the possibility of fluid forming over time. As the infection spreads, the ability to hear clearly gets affected. If untreated, it can turn into a chronic condition that leaves permanent damage.
Hearing loss caused by otitis media can range in severity from 24 decibels (very soft muted sounds) to 45 decibels (normal conversational speech levels).
Sometimes, hearing loss is only exacerbated by an ear infection and can actually be caused by other factors. This includes too much compressed earwax, lesions in the auditory-centric nerves, an inflamed auditory canal (swimmer’s ear), significant trauma to the head or ear region, and otosclerosis.
Another condition called cholesteatoma can actually be the catalyst for chronic middle ear infections.
Signs of Hearing Loss
There are a few ways you can tell if your child may have hearing problems:
- Your child has trouble understanding certain spoken words. They may even misunderstand to the extent that they are perceiving the wrong words from what is actually being said.
- Your child asks for things to be repeated more than once.
- Your child speaks at a higher volume than normal.
- Your child does not pay attention or respond often.
- Your child has trouble when there are multiple noises or a lot of background noise.
Hearing Tests You Can Get
If your child frequently gets middle ear infections or they are displaying any of the signs of hearing loss, it may be time to have an assessment. There are different hearing tests that you can expect depending on your consultant’s recommendation, including but not limited to:
- Otoscopy. This basic exam helps the practitioner examine the structure of your child’s ear. This helps visualize every part of the ear and helps identify physical problems.
- Pure-tone audiometry. This hearing exam basically uses an audiometer to produce sounds out of a headset. From here, different tones and speech will be played at varied intervals. The patient will have to comply with instructions to measure how well they perceive the sounds.
- Visual reinforcement audiometry. This is mostly done for children under a year to two and a half years old. The patient is shown sounds that are linked to visual rewards such as a toy or engaging digital image. From there, the pitch will be varied to see the softest sounds your child can still hear.
If you suspect that your child is suffering from problems with their hearing, reach out to a hearing consultant to get them assessed right away. Timely intervention is key in treating many childhood conditions. With the right plan, you can provide comfort and wellness to your child as they grow up.
Reach out to trusted hearing care specialists for your child. At Hear More Associates, we provide easy and reliable assistance for those concerned about hearing problems. Connect with us for a free hearing test in Lexington.