3 FAQs About Children and Hearing Loss

It's well known that older adults suffer from some level of hearing loss. In fact, one in three people who range in age from 65 to 74 has hearing loss. While it's not as common, children, too, can experience hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 12.5 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have some degree of hearing loss.

In order to better understand hearing loss in children, here are the answers to three frequently asked questions.

1. What Are the Causes of Hearing Loss in Children?

There are three ways hearing loss can happen in children, including:

  • Congenital - the condition is present at birth
  • Acquired - the condition is acquired through injury, exposure to loud noise, or other means
  • Transient - a temporary form of hearing loss brought on by otitis media, a middle ear infection

In most cases where a child has transient hearing loss, they will regain their hearing once the infection has healed. If ear infections are left untreated, however, it can cause permanent hearing loss.

2. What Are the Symptoms of Hearing Loss in Children?

Some of the most common symptoms for children and toddlers with hearing loss include:

  • They are behind in speech and language skills for their age
  • They turn up the volume on the TV or sit closer in order to hear better
  • They complain of ear pain
  • They watch someone's face very intently when being spoken to
  • They are constantly asking people to repeat themselves

If parents notice any of these symptoms or they are at all concerned about their child's hearing, they should get their child screened as soon as possible.

3. What Kinds of Hearing Loss Treatments Are Effective for Children?

When treating a child for hearing loss, it largely depends on how bad the hearing loss is and the age of the child. Some of the most common ways to treat hearing loss in children include:

  • Hearing aids - this type of hearing device comes in a variety of models including behind-the-ear and those placed directly inside the ear canal
  • Cochlear implants - a device that gets surgically implanted and works by stimulating the auditory nerve
  • Speech therapy - after getting a hearing device, this type of therapy can help them improve speech and language skills
  • Assistive listening devices - a type of FM technology that works in conjunction with other hearing devices

While these treatment options may not work for children who are completely deaf, they can help those with profound hearing loss. Consult an audiologist to get a diagnosis for your child and visit a hearing aid company, such as Hearing Specialists of DuPage, to see which device would best serve your child's needs.