Hearing loss can happen at any age. In fact, nearly 12 percent of kids age 6 through 19 have noise induced hearing loss according to the American Academy of Audiology. 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.
Some hearing loss in kids can be reversible.
– 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. Medical treatment or minor surgery could be the solution to some hearing loss issues, but early intervention is vital. Chronic (long term) ear infections could cause permanent hearing loss so be sure you seek professional help early on if ear infections are suspected.
Language development is positively impacted by early intervention. – Early identification and assessment of hearing losses is vital. Studies have shown that infants whose hearing loss is detected after 6 months of age did comparably worse on language skill development compared to infants where the loss was detected and treated before 6 months.
Speech and reading skills may be adversely affected by hearing loss. – Language development in the brain of children is at its highest level between age 0 and 3. Young children need to have proper hearing function in order to develop normal speech patterns. Good language skills are very important in order for a young child to learn how to read.
Not all hearing loss is permanent. – There are types of hearing loss that are preventable, including noise related damage to the hearing. 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.
Hearing loss signs and symptoms are often times initially observed by parents.
– Parents are many times the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in infants such as: no reaction to noises made by toys or not making babbling sounds like normal infants. 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.