Your child's hearing is an important part of their development. Prior to going to school, hearing allows children to mimic the adults around them as they learn to speak. In school, good hearing is necessary to interact with the teachers and other children. When the hearing is impaired in your child, their development can be slowed. Early detection of hearing problems in your child and surgery or fitting them with proper hearing aid devices gives them the chance to grow and learn normally. Here are the typical reasons for hearing loss in a child and how to deal with them.
Otitis Media (Middle Ear Infection)
The National Institutes of Health report that by the age of three, five out of six children will have had otitis media. This can cause a mild hearing loss that lasts for only a short time. But it can recur, and if frequent and severe enough, it can create some permanent hearing loss.
This is caused by a build up of fluid in the ear. This dampens the vibrations that the ear uses to identify sounds. In normal ear anatomy, a small tube drains fluid from the middle ear into the throat. If this tube is blocked by illness or a structural defect in the tube, the fluid doesn't drain. It builds up in the ear, putting pressure on the parts of the ear that detect vibrations.
As the child grows, the size and location of the tube can change, making the draining process more effective. If it doesn't, your child can have lifelong hearing problems unless corrective action is taken. A surgical procedure can be done to clear the existing tube or to put in an artificial tube to help drain the fluid out of the ear.
A child with otitis media may have the following symptoms and should be seen by their pediatrician as soon as possible:
Congenital Hearing Loss
Problems prior to birth can be the cause of hearing loss, especially if the development of the ear structures are affected. Some of the common reasons for congenital hearing issues include:
The treatment of congenital hearing loss depends on the level of deformity of the ear structures and how well the nerves in the ear are working. These treatments can include:
Your child can also have their hearing affected by a disease early in childhood, while the ear structures are still maturing. The disease can cause these structures to become deformed or affect the nerves which transmit the sound vibrations to the brain. The diseases most commonly associated with hearing loss in children include:
Each of these can cause from mild to severe hearing loss, sometimes permanently. Early treatment of these diseases is important to prevent hearing loss. If damage to the hearing occurs, bone conduction and conventional hearing aid devices will help your child.
Early hearing testing and watching for signs of hearing loss in your child are important to make sure their development is normal.Share
7 May 2015
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