Description, Types, Symptoms, & Treatments
Hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop communication, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss are identified and appropriately treated, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. If you suspect your child has hearing loss, please schedule an appointment for further evaluation.
Conductive Hearing Loss
The most common type of hearing loss in children is a conductive hearing loss associated with conditions in the external or middle ear that block sound. In children these conditions are most typically otitis media, impacted cerumen, a perforated eardrum, or birth defects that alter the structure of the ear. Hearing loss in children is more commonly conductive and is often medically treatable.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural loss is the second most common type of hearing loss, resulting from damage to the cochlea (inner ear) and the auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing loss in children is often congenital. Other causes of sensorineural hearing loss include ototoxic medications, premature birth, and illnesses. Sensorineural hearing loss is not medically treatable; however, in most cases, children can be helped with hearing aids or cochlear implants.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Children
Signs of possible hearing loss in children range from not startling at loud sounds to speech delay to academic difficulties, depending on the age of the child.
- Not startling at loud noises
- Unable to localize sound
- Not showing normal speech development
Toddler and Older:
- Speech and language delays
- Academic difficulties/delays
- Needing louder than “normal” volume to hear television
- Needing multiple verbal repetitions
- Stating that he/she is having difficulty hearing
If you believe your child has a hearing loss, please schedule an appointment to meet with our audiologists and physicians. Timely hearing testing, diagnosis, and treatment will provide the best course of action.