Hearing loss may occur to anyone, at any age. Though commonly associated with older Americans, approximately 15% of young people between age 6 and 19 experience hearing loss in one or both ears. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child – and even if a child has passed a hearing screening before, it is important to keep a watch on certain signs.
Hearing loss affects development of language in young children, and it can be detected as early as the first month in an infant’s life. Below are signs of hearing loss in babies and children, as outlined by the CDC.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Babies
Approximately 50% of hearing loss in babies is due to genetic factors. In the first few weeks of an infant’s life, you may get a hearing screening test to detect hearing loss. Signs of hearing loss in babies include: not being startled at loud noises, not turning to a source of sound after 6 months of age, not speaking single words such as “mama” by 12 months of age, and not turning their heads when you call their name.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
According to the CDC, there are milestones that babies and children should reach by certain ages (from 2 months to 5 years). You will find the milestones here.
With children, signs of hearing loss include delayed speech, unclear speech, not following directions (which is often times mistaken for a child ignoring you or not paying attention), saying “Huh?” and turning up volumes too high on devices and the TV.
Screening and Diagnosis
If you believe your baby or child is experiencing hearing loss, contact us at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids for a screening. Hearing screenings are painless and quite simple, and they are not time consuming.
Generally speaking, babies have their hearing screened at the hospital in the first month. Children should have their hearing screened before entering school, or if they exhibit signs of hearing loss as detailed above.
Based on the hearing screening, we are able to determine the hearing ability of the child and recommend treatment.
Treatments and Intervention Services
Depending on the type and degree of hearing loss, there are different treatments and services available for children. In terms of communication, families may decide to learn sign language. Hearing aids and cochlear implants may be recommended by your audiologist, to amplify sounds and provide a clearer signal to be processed by the brain. There are many hearing aid options that offer advanced technology and sturdy construction for the most active of children.
It is important to address hearing loss as soon as possible in children. Contact us today if you believe your child is experiencing hearing loss.