Hearing Loss in Children



Hearing loss is devastating for anyone but when it affects children it is even more heart breaking. We associate the common issue of hearing loss among the older generation, but what causes hearing loss in children?

There are many things that can cause hearing loss in children. One of the most common causes is reoccurring serious infections in the middle ear, commonly known as otitis media. Many children will be affected by otitis media at some point in their childhood; in fact research shows that a child will experience otitis media as least once by the time they reach three years old. Only when it becomes chronic, hearing can become permanently affected.

Another possible cause of hearing loss in children is called congenital hearing loss. This simply means that the hearing loss is present at birth. This condition may be hereditary. Other factors possibly causing hearing loss at birth may be issues while in utero or even factors occurring at the time of birth.

Congenital causes of hearing loss

  • Intrauterine infections such as herpes simplex virus or the German measles
  • Diabetes in Mother
  • Premature birth
  • RH factor complications
  • lack of oxygen

Causes of hearing loss acquired anytime in the child's life

  • The most common cause as we discussed earlier-Otitis Media
  • Extremely loud noise levels
  • Serious case of influenza
  • Meningitis
  • Sustaining a serious head injury
  • Complications from chicken pox
  • Measles
  • Mumps

Children learn to talk and communicate from hearing other people speak. This is why it is paramount that children get treatment as soon as the hearing loss is discovered. If you are the child's parent and you suspect there may be an issue with their hearing, you should not wait. Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

What are the treatments for children with hearing loss?

  • Determining if there is an infection present first. The doctor should look for infection and treat it accordingly before proceeding.
  • Refer child to specialist. Your medical doctor may refer your child to an otolaryngologist¬† who specializes in this field and can run more necessary tests to help diagnose the cause.
  • Surgery. The specialist may suggest that ear tubes be put into place.
  • Hearing aids. The hearing loss may be caused by a inner ear or nerve problem. In which case hearing aids may be suggested.
  • Speech and language therapy.¬† The specialist may also see a need for your child to receive speech and language therapy from a trained therapist to assist in helping your child develop proper speech patterns.

As a parent you will want to help your child in any way that you can. Correcting hearing loss for your child is very important for both their speech and social development. If a hearing aid is recommended, check out all of your options. Price and the comfort of a hearing device should be considered. The most important thing to do, is get your child to a doctor as soon as possible.

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