Hearing, vision and speech are highly important markers of a child’s knowledge, social interactive skills and dynamic capacities. Children grab information and communicate with people around them by imitating the voices and sounds they hear. Therefore, an undiagnosed or untreated hearing loss can immensely damage the overall child development in numerous aspects, ultimately resulting in issues like delayed speech, vocabulary and issues in social interactions.
- According to latest research studies, hearing loss is known to affect 2% of children under 18 years of age in the general community.
- Many types of hearing loss can be treated with a timely diagnosis and appropriate medical or surgical interventions.
- 6-12 months; listen attentively to familiar sound, respond to name, imitate some sound & few words like bye-bye
Types of hearing Loss
- Congenital (by birth) or acquired
- Sensorineural, conductive or mixed
Get Ear and Hearing capability checked if your child shows any of the following symptoms or child does not have age-appropriate speech development:
- Does not turn head towards/localize sound by 3-4 months
- Does not smile at family members by 4-6 months
- Does not follow verbal instructions by 12-14 months
- Performing poor in school
- Complain of earaches, ear pain or head noises?
- Have difficulty understanding what people are saying?
Risk Factors for congenital hearing problems:
- Maternal infections such as German measles, toxoplasmosis and Cytomegalovirus during pregnancy
- Usage of various ototoxic drugs during pregnancy
- Complications of birth like low birth weight
- Neonatal ICU admissions
- Birth defects in face, ears or head
- Premature baby
- Pathologies in central and peripheral nervous systems
- Genetic defects like Down’s syndrome
- Positive family history for hearing loss.
Causes for acquired hearing problems in children:
- Undiagnosed and untreated middle ear infections
- Infections such as meningitis, measles, mumps, whooping cough
- Ear drum perforation due to trauma or ear infections
- Damage by loud noises/Music
- Ménière’s disease
- Head injury
- Ototoxic medicines
Diagnosis of Hearing loss in children:
- Most hospitals nowadays perform ‘Routine hearing screening’ for babies immediately after the delivery.
- The wide variety of diagnostic services offered for infants, children and adolescents according to individual needs, will assess the effective conduction of sound waves and pathological conditions in the ear or nerve pathways by using the latest techniques available.
- Various hearing tests are PT Audiometry, Speech Audiometry, Behavioural Audiomtery, free – field audiometry, conditioned audiometry, Impedance audiometry , BERA , OAE and ASSR.
Treatment of hearing Loss In children:
- Most cases of hearing loss during childhood is temporary due to harmless middle ear infections or ear wax which can be treated effectively by Medicines or surgery..
- Hearing loss due to a problem in nerve conduction, also known as nerve deafness, will result in a permanent hearing loss which require life-long hearing aids or cochlear implant.
Audicco Hearing & Speech Center in Neoalta specialist clinic, Navi Mumbai and at Zen hospital Chembur (E) Mumbai offers comprehensive hearing test for children to identify the reason of hearing loss, advanced medical and surgical care and best suitable hearing aids by a team of ENT surgeon and audiologist.