It isn’t only older people who experience hearing loss; children can either because of congenital conditions or hearing loss caused by environmental factors like loud inner ear devices. Hearing loss in children is a particular concern because it impacts their learning and development.
If your child does have some hearing loss, it’s not difficult to monitor them for a time to determine the extent of the issue. There are some signs to look out for, which are outlined in the article below; these include identifying sounds, sound locations, and device listening tests.
They don’t respond to calls and noises
Many younger children can be unresponsive to you because of inattention, or perhaps they are too engrossed in their play to notice your calls. However, there is a chance it’s a symptom of hearing loss, but you might not know this for sure until they are a little bit older.
As your children get a bit older, it becomes easier to distinguish between what they can hear and what they can’t. If you suspect your child might have some hearing loss try testing your theory by calling them in different ways and noting their responses.
They can’t identify the location of sounds
As hearing develops in children, they begin to associate the sounds with particular people, but this might be more challenging if the child has some degree of hearing loss. If you monitor your child with this in mind, you should notice some telling signs of hearing loss.
So what should you look out for? For example, if someone is speaking to your child but is looking at someone else, this indicates that your child can’t identify the source of the sounds. This can also happen with toys, or they might follow sounds into the wrong rooms.
There is some delay in their development
One of the classic signs of hearing loss in children is a delay in their developmental progress. Children with hearing loss are slower to pick up speech; they might also mishear and mispronounce things. They might also be slower to learn when they go to school.
If your child seems to have some learning difficulties or mispronounces words, it’s a clear indication that they have some hearing loss and might require a hearing test at an audiologist’s office. Depending on the degree of hearing loss, your child might require a hearing device.
They can’t hear the TV or device
Another classic sign of hearing loss in both children and adults is the inability to hear the television or other media devices even when they are loud already. It’s an indication that your child needs a hearing test if they continually ask you to turn up the television.
As well as asking for the television to be turned up when it is already quite loud, your child might also listen to music at high volumes or play games with the sound turned up. These are all signs that your child needs a hearing test to determine the extent of hearing loss.
When to go for a hearing test
Your child’s hearing will be checked when they are born, then between nine months and two and half years. Your child’s hearing will then be tested again at around four or five years old. However, their hearing can be tested at any point in between if you think they have an issue.
If you suspect your child has some hearing loss issues because of the sign outlined above, it’s time to book an appointment with a hearing professional, you can learn more; they will carry out a non-invasive hearing test and determine the best course of treatment for your child.
What hearing tests are available?
When you take your child to a hearing professional or an audiologist, they will ask some questions to determine the symptoms and the best hearing test to use for your child. There are typically five hearing tests an audiologist can use to identify the degree of hearing loss.
These five tests include visual reinforcement audiometry, play audiometry, pure tone audiometry, bone conduction test, and tympanometry. Each test focuses on different parts of the inner or outer ear and has different aims. The symptoms determine the type of test.
If you suspect your child has hearing loss, you can monitor them for the signs above and decide if the issue is worth investigating further. If it is, the first thing you can do is contact your medical professional or your audiologist and book an appointment for a hearing test.