Hearing loss can affect people of all ages. Being aware of the signs of hearing loss in children is crucial, as untreated hearing loss can lead to developmental delays, including issues with speech comprehension.
Pediatric Hearing Loss
Two out of every 1,000 children are born with hearing loss. Causes range from infection, genetics, complications after birth and head trauma. Every child born in a United States hospital undergoes a hearing screening. Even if your child passes this screening, you should still be aware of the signs to look out for.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put together this list of common hearing loss signs in both babies and children.
Signs in babies:
- They do not startle at loud noises.
- They do not turn to the source of sound after six months of age.
- They do not say anything by one year of age.
- They turn their head when they see you but not when you say their name.
Signs in children:
- Their speech is delayed.
- Their speech is not clear.
- They do not follow directions.
- They often say “huh?”
- They turn the volume of the television up too loud.
If your child exhibits any of these signs, you should bring them into the clinic to have a full hearing exam.
What Is Speech Comprehension?
Hearing loss can affect your child’s speech comprehension, which impacts their ability to develop speech, language and social skills. Children who cannot hear well miss out on important pieces of information used to develop speech and learning skills.
While children with hearing loss are able to hear very specific words, such as dog or purple, they will often have trouble with abstract words, such as before or to. This can make following directions while playing with other children in Watson Lake Park difficult.
Another common issue found in children with hearing loss is trouble understanding the meaning of words; this is especially problematic with homonyms. A common homonym is the word book, which can mean to make a reservation or is an item that you read. If you cannot understand the different meanings, learning can be challenging.
Children with hearing loss have trouble hearing specific sounds as well. The sounds s or ed at the end of a word can be difficult to hear as well as sh, f, t, or k sounds within the words.
If your child does not get the resources they need, they can fall behind in school. Hearing aids and cochlear implants are the most common treatment options. To learn more about pediatric hearing loss or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact Prescott ENT today.