Five Signs Your Child May Have Hearing Loss
When most people think of hearing loss, they usually assume it only affects older individuals. But hearing loss is more complex than that — not only can it take on a variety of different forms, but it can be diagnosed in a variety of different people, and hearing loss is not always age-related. In fact, the Hearing Loss Association of America states that 15% of school-aged children have some form of hearing loss. In other words, it’s estimated that 30 of every 1,000 children have hearing loss. Sometimes, the symptoms of congenital or early-onset hearing loss are inconspicuous, emerging slowly and subtly. Other times, symptoms are more prominent, developing extraordinarily quickly. But regardless of the type, cause or severity, the initial symptoms of hearing loss are generally very similar, if not the same, even when diagnosed in children.
Hearing loss can hinder several very crucial developmental stages for children, from the steady development of social skills to learning the articulation of proper speech and language. Although the most effective way to determine whether your child has hearing loss is to consult a physician for a hearing screening, there are a few signs/symptoms you can look out for. The Center for Disease Control has defined the most common symptoms of hearing loss in children as:
- Delayed or unclear speech. If your child has delayed responses while communicating, or you have trouble understanding what he/she is saying, this could mean your child hasn’t heard language (specifically consonants) clearly enough to speak well
- The inability to follow direction is commonly misconstrued as typical, unruly behavior in children — perhaps you believe your child is simply not paying attention, or ignoring direction on purpose. However, this could be a result of a partial or complete hearing loss
- Frequently saying, “Huh?”, asking for repetition or inappropriately responding to questions and/or requests are often signs of hearing loss or impairment
- Becoming easily frustrated in social situations or noisy environments where one-on-one conversation proves very difficult is a common behavior exhibited in children with hearing loss
- If your child keeps the volume very high on the television or radio, chances are high they are having trouble hearing normally
Even if your child has passed a hearing screening, exhibiting any of the above behaviors are strong indicators that an additional check-up is needed. A thorough hearing evaluation is quick, easy, and the most accurate way to detect hearing loss in children. The sooner hearing loss is treated, the more likely your child will experience less emotional distress and begin reaching their full potential. Whether it’s with comprehensive hearing testing or a hearing instrument fitting, there are several ways to diagnose and treat hearing loss in children. So, talk to your child’s doctor about treatment and intervention services, then talk to your Hearing Care Provider about the ways Sonic hearing aids can help.