Hearing problems in children can be temporary or permanent. However, that doesn’t make the news any less upsetting as a parent. But you should know that you’re not alone.
Our highly qualified audiologists and hearing aid specialists at Sharp Hearing Care Professionals work tirelessly to ensure all of our patients receive personalized attention and care. Whether your child needs an audiology consultation or you need guidance with a hearing problem, we can provide the help and support you need.
Hearing problems in children
About 2-3 of every 1,000 children born in the United States have partial or complete hearing loss. On top of that, other children lose their hearing later in childhood.
Causes of hearing problems in children include:
- Hereditary conditions or genetic disorders
- Infections during pregnancy or complications after birth
- Head trauma
- Exposure to loud noises
- Foreign objects or blockages in the ear, like wax or fluid buildup
- Structural damage, like a punctured eardrum
- Inner ear or auditory nerve damage or malformation
Whether your child has a hearing disorder present from birth or one that develops later on, it’s important to take steps to address it as soon as you learn there’s an issue.
Why early intervention matters
It’s easy to assume that you can wait to treat hearing problems in children, especially when they seem too young to communicate.
However, children learn to speak by imitating the sounds they hear around them. When they can’t hear or understand those sounds, it can interfere with their language, speech, learning, and social skills. Even mild hearing problems can cause issues with developing these skills.
Common signs of hearing problems in children include:
- Delayed or unclear speech
- Not following directions or seeming inattentive
- Having the volume too high when watching TV
- Talking too loudly
- Often asking, “What” or “Huh?”
Fortunately, taking steps as soon as you learn there’s a problem can help your child get the tools they need to avoid developmental and social issues.
What to do when your child has trouble hearing
Hearing problems vary from person to person, from mild to profound. Learning the most effective way to help involves a clear understanding of their condition.
The best way to diagnose the type and severity of your child’s hearing problem involves a hearing test and hearing evaluation, and we can perform them for patients of all ages — even infants! And don’t worry, the exams don’t hurt; babies often sleep during their screenings.
These consultations allow our team to look for signs of infection, obstruction, or structural issues contributing to your child’s hearing problems. They can also determine the degree and type of hearing problem your child has and if there’s a specific ear condition causing the issue.
Based on this information, we can outline a personalized management strategy for your child. Common medical interventions for hearing problems include:
- Assistive listening devices
- Hearing aids
- Medication or surgery to correct issues causing hearing loss
We could also recommend learning other ways to communicate, such as sign language and lip-reading.
Creating a strong support system
At Sharp Hearing Care Professionals, we talk you through your child’s diagnosis, treatment options, and various interventions. However, it doesn’t stop there. We’re here for you and your family as your child grows and their hearing needs change.
We also recommend partnering with speech-language therapists and education specialists. These experienced specialists can help you and your child gain the tools needed to navigate their hearing problem.
In addition, we can connect you with other families who have children with hearing problems. These connections help provide the strong foundation of support you need moving forward.
Does your child have a hearing problem? Don’t wait to take action. Contact Sharp Hearing Care Professionals to partner with one of our experienced audiologists in Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and West Hills, California, by calling or booking an appointment online today.