Hearing loss in children is a common condition, and if you or a loved one is concerned about this, then you need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that could be occurring. Learning about the treatment available to deal with this is also essential. There are several types of hearing loss, including Conductive, Sensorineural, and Noise-induced.
Hearing loss in children can be a significant concern for many parents. It can cause several different behavioral and academic problems and affect their communication skills. Depending on the severity of the hearing impairment, the child may require speech therapy or hearing aids. Regardless of the treatment, parents must learn how to adapt to their child’s hearing condition.
An excellent way to determine if your child has a hearing problem is to take them to a pediatric audiologist. They can do a hearing test to assess the child’s overall hearing ability and a physical exam to evaluate the ears.
Some common causes of hearing loss in children are otitis media and head trauma. These diseases can lead to permanent or temporary hearing impairment. An infection of the middle ear is called otitis media. The condition occurs because the Eustachian tube isn’t completely formed. Symptoms of otitis media include earaches, ear pain, and hearing problems.
Some children may also have tinnitus. This is an itch or a ringing sound that happens when a fluid inside the ear gets infected. Children with tinnitus can’t hear high-pitched sounds and can’t follow conversations.
Tinnitus symptoms include ringing, a throbbing sensation, or a feeling that the ear is swollen. Some medications can help with tinnitus. The use of hearing aids such as Widex hearing aids in tinnitus patients, according to clinical evidence, has two advantages: it lessens the patient’s awareness of tinnitus. It enhances communication by facilitating the annoying feeling that sounds and voices are obscured by tinnitus. Often, the simple act of wearing hearing aids reduces the symptoms of tinnitus.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss in children occurs when a problem in the outer or middle ear prevents sound from being transmitted. The loss can be temporary or permanent. Treatment usually includes surgery or medicines.
Conductive hearing loss is caused by several things, including ear infections, fluid in the middle ear, tumors, and cysts in the ear canal. Infections are the most common cause of conductive hearing loss in children.
Another major cause of conductive hearing loss is aural atresia or failure of the outer ear. This occurs when the eardrum has been damaged. An imbalance of pressure in the ear drum can also cause conductive hearing loss.
Otitis media, or inflammation of the inner ear, is a common ailment in children. Fluid accumulates in the middle ear, which makes the eardrum vibrate, resulting in conductive hearing loss. Chronic otitis media is the most common cause of conductive hearing loss.
Conductive hearing loss can also occur because of a perforation of the tympanic membrane. If the perforation is extensive, there will be a loss of surface area for sound transmission.
Aural atresia, anatomical anomalies, and congenital middle- and outer-ear malformations are some additional causes of conductive hearing loss in children. Congenital malformations may involve the middle ear bones, the tympanic membrane, or the jugular bulb.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Sensorineural hearing loss in children may result from damage to the inner ear hair cells. This can happen during infancy or later in life. Usually, this condition is permanent and cannot be reversed. However, some measures can be taken to improve the patient’s quality of life.
Early diagnosis is essential. For example, the Acadia test of developmental abilities can be used to evaluate children’s abilities in learning and language.
Several tests can be conducted to help identify the etiology of sudden sensorineural hearing loss. These tests can include an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a hearing exam. In addition, the presence of a viral infection can also be determined.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss
Noise-induced hearing loss in children is a growing public health issue. It is caused by exposure to excessive and prolonged noise.
In the United States, it is estimated that 12% to 15% of school-aged children have some degree of hearing loss. This is mainly due to exposure to loud sounds and hazardous recreational noises.
Noise exposure can be either voluntary or unintentional. Voluntarily, people are exposed to amplified sound through music players, video game consoles, and portable entertainment devices. However, a person may unintentionally be exposed to the sound of a jackhammer outside their window.
Noise-induced hearing loss in children can interfere with a child’s speech and educational achievement. This can also lead to social isolation. Fortunately, the condition is preventable. Parents should assess their child’s environmental noise exposure and take the appropriate steps to protect their child’s ears.
Noise-induced hearing loss can take many different forms. Cochlear, conductive, and central auditory system disorders are among them. Other traits apply to each class.
Conductive loss is the result of fluid buildup in the middle ear. Cochlear loss is a disorder of the inner hair cells. Central auditory system disorder affects the brain’s nerve fibers and is associated with difficulty understanding speech. Various forms of tinnitus can also occur. Tinnitus is often associated with noise-induced hearing loss.