Children develop speech and language skills by listening. However, cognitive abilities and emotional development are also affected by hearing. If your child cannot hear the world around them, their ability to learn and communicate may be impaired. Regularly scheduled hearing test procedures conducted from newborn to the age of three can identify whether there has been hearing loss, giving the opportunity to potentially correct it.
Newborn Hearing Screening
Newborn hearing screening is a standard procedure in US hospitals. The early detection and intervention for newborns to infants six months of age have been shown to have better outcomes than action taken later than six months. Hearing loss affects one to three out of every 1,000 babies born.
Even if your child does not pass the initial newborn screening, it does not mean there is a problem. Fluid or debris in the ears can interfere and skew the results. Schedule another test at three months to confirm the diagnosis and begin treatment if needed. Experts believe that many people experience hearing loss between birth and their teen years, making it imperative that they have regular auditory checks.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Infants
Most newborns “jump” or are startled when there are sudden, loud noises. By three months old, they can distinguish their parent’s voice. By six months, they turn their heads or eyes towards a sound. As their parent, you are most likely to recognize if your baby does not exhibit these behaviors, indicating there is some degree of hearing loss.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Toddlers
By 12 months, most children are mimicking sounds and producing words, such as “mama” or “no.” There are several signs your child may exhibit as a toddler that may be a result of hearing impairment, such as:
- Limited or poor speech
- Often inattentive
- Needs the television volume extremely high
- Fails to respond to conversation-level speech
- Becomes frustrated when there is significant background noise
- Doesn’t respond to questions appropriately
- Complains of ear pain or about noises
- Speaks differently than others in their age group
Treatments for Hearing Loss
Depending on the cause and severity of the hearing loss a hearing aid or an implantable solution may be an appropriate option. Adding assistive listening devices or speech therapy may be recommended as part of the treatment.
Contact Memorial Hearing in Houston for More Information
A hearing specialist can test your child’s hearing and determine the treatment. If the cause is temporary, due to an ear infection or wax buildup, the audiologist can take steps to help clear up the issue or refer you to an ear, nose, and throat doctor. If you believe your child may be experiencing hearing loss, or if they have not had a regular exam in a while, contact Memorial Hearing today. You can also give us a call at (713) 984-7562.