Whether you are young or old, you may experience hearing loss. In fact, nearly 12 percent of kids age 6 through 19 have noise induced hearing loss according to the American Academy of Audiology. Hearing loss is also the number one most common type of birth defect in the U.S. In fact, the American Speech and Language Association reports that approximately 12,000 babies are born each year with hearing loss.
Language development is positively impacted by early intervention. – 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.
Some hearing loss in kids can be reversible.
– Hearing loss could be a temporary problem in some children resulting from issues such as ear wax occluding the middle ear, or ear infections. Medical treatment or minor surgery could be the solution to some hearing loss issues, but early intervention is vital. Ear infections left untreated could cause permanent hearing loss, so be sure to seek medical attention right away when there is a possibility of ear infections.
Permanent hearing loss can be avoided. – You may not realize that noise related hearing loss is very common and it can be avoided all together. It’s important to learn how to use protective gear such as earplugs and earmuffs to prevent loud noises from causing damage. And, be sure to keep the volume down on electronic devices.
Hearing loss may delay your child’s ability to learn normal language skills. – During the formative years between birth and 3, kids have a keen ability to learn language skills. Young children need to have proper hearing function in order to develop normal speech patterns. Language skills are vital in order for kids to go on to learn how to read effectively.
Hearing loss signs and symptoms are often times initially observed by parents.
– Many times parents are the first to recognize signs of hearing loss in infants and small children. Response to your voice, noticing noises that toys make (such as rattles), and making babbling sounds are all signs to observe for to ensure infants have normal hearing. At 9 months your baby should respond to the sound of his/her name, repeat back some noises he/she hears and follow simple commands. Be sure to ask your hearing specialist or audiologist for a more conclusive list of signs and symptoms to watch for, as well as his/her recommendation on when your child should have a professional hearing screening.