Hearing loss can happen at any age. According to experts at the Academy of Audiology, nearly 12% of younger kids from age 6 through the teen years have hearing loss resulting from noise. Hearing loss is also the number one most common type of birth defect in the U.S. Nearly 12,000 children are born each year with some type of hearing loss says the American Speech and Language Association.
Hearing loss could delay language development. – Children learn more about language from birth to 3 years of age than they do at any other time in life because during that time the brain is more receptive to learning language. Young children need to have proper hearing function in order to develop normal speech patterns. In order for children to learn proper reading skills, they must first develop good language skills.
Childhood hearing losses aren’t necessarily lifelong.
– Children can experience hearing loss from many factors, some are reversible such as an ear infection or a build up of earwax in the middle ear. Early intervention such as minor surgery or medical treatment could reverse temporary hearing loss in some instances. Chronic (long term) ear infections could cause permanent hearing loss so be sure you seek professional help early on if ear infections are suspected.
Kids with hearing impairment can benefit greatly from early diagnosis and treatment. – The earlier in life that hearing losses are identified, the more likely the child is to develop fully normal language skills. Due to earlier treatment, infants whose hearing loss was detected at age 6 months or younger proved to develop better language skills than kids whose hearing impairment wasn’t discovered until after 6 months of age.
Not all hearing loss is permanent. – It may be surprising to note that noise related hearing loss is 100 percent avoidable. Using protective ear plugs or ear muffs is a must for protecting kids from noise induced hearing loss. Also, parents should lower the volume on stereos and other electronics.
Parents may be the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in kids.
– In many instances parents are the very first to notice something is not quite right in young kids with hearing loss. Signs to watch for include: response to music and making jabbering sounds. 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.