Hearing Loss in Children

As the area’s only pediatric audiologist, we see a number of children with hearing issues. Hearing impairment in children can make learning a big challenge. Similar to adults there are varying degrees of hearing loss, however, depending on the cause there may be help available.

Children with hearing loss typically fall into one of two categories. A conductive loss is the most common and is associated with conditions that can include ear infection, fluid in the ear, impacted ear wax, a perforated ear drum, a foreign object in the canal or birth defects that alter the canal. Many of these conditions are treatable through minor procedures or surgery.

Sensorineural loss is the second type. Most often, this type of loss is caused by congenital infections, the use of some antibiotics, premature birth with a very low birth weight and some of the resulting treatments or a number of other medical conditions. Although there is no cure for this type of loss in most cases, children can often be helped with hearing aids.

The following are symptoms of hearing loss to look for among children:

Newborn  and infants:

  • Not startling at loud noises
  • Not showing normal speech development

Toddler and older:

  • Sitting close to the television with the sound turned up to a loud volume
  • Having difficulty in school
  • Not responding to someone who is talking without being face to face