Loss of hearing can occur during childhood, adolescents, or even at birth. In fact, nearly 12 percent of kids age 6 through 19 have noise induced hearing loss according to the American Academy of Audiology. Of all birth defects, hearing loss presents itself more often than any other congenital defect in the United States. In fact, the American Speech and Language Association reports that approximately 12,000 babies are born each year with hearing loss.
Kids with hearing impairment can benefit greatly from early diagnosis and treatment. – Early detection is vital. When hearing loss is caught early, children’s language skills develop normally. Studies have shown that infants whose hearing loss is detected after 6 months of age did comparably worse on language skill development compared to infants where the loss was detected and treated before 6 months.
Childhood hearing losses aren’t necessarily lifelong.
– Children can experience hearing loss from many factors, some are reversible such as an ear infection or a build up of earwax in the middle ear. Medical treatment or minor surgery could be the solution to some hearing loss issues, but early intervention is vital. When ear infections are not treated promptly, there is a risk of permanent hearing loss so medical treatment should be sought promptly.
Permanent hearing loss can be avoided. – It may be surprising to note that noise related hearing loss is 100 percent avoidable. Using protective ear plugs or ear muffs is a must for protecting kids from noise induced hearing loss. Also, parents should lower the volume on stereos and other electronics.
Speech and reading skills may be adversely affected by hearing loss. – Language development in the brain of children is at its highest level between age 0 and 3. Hearing is vital to normal speech development because this process begins in young children with the ability to listen. In order for children to learn proper reading skills, they must first develop good language skills.
Hearing loss signs and symptoms are often times initially observed by parents.
– Parents are many times the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in infants such as: no reaction to noises made by toys or not making babbling sounds like normal infants. When babies are nine months or older you should notice that they understand and respond to basic requests and mimic sounds and noises made by others. To learn more about recommended screenings and benchmarks to evaluate normal hearing in young kids, consult a hearing specialist or audiologist.