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Hearing loss in children and infants can often go undetected until later in life, when the symptoms become more prevalent. Some of the more common symptoms of hearing loss in young children include unclear diction, the child continually asking you to repeat what you said, speaking loudly and needing a higher volume for radio and television. According to statistics, approximately 1 to 6 out of 1,000 newborns have congenital hearing loss, and this may be a low estimate, as some hearing loss will not be noticeable until the child is older.
Why Hearing Loss In Children Goes Undetected
Without proper screening such as pre-school and medical checkup screenings, many children may have some minor hearing loss that is undetected. Some of the reasons for this include the fact that until the child obtains a speech impediment due to not being able to hear and properly imitate speech, many adults simply do not notice that a child does not hear perfectly.
Minor hearing loss may be misunderstood by parents as a child simply not paying attention, such as when the child asks for you to repeat what was said often. Subtle signs of minor hearing impairment, such as turning an ear to the speaker, may simply go unnoticed or be construed as mere quirky behavior, instead of a symptom of hearing problems.
Causes For Hearing Loss in Children
Some children are simply born with a congenital defect in the ear that can lead to impairment or outright deafness. However, in some cases, the cause could be as simple as fluid in the ear, otherwise known as otitis media. If left untreated, otitis media can lead to speech defects and can eventually lead to permanent damage and profound hearing loss. Thankfully, if detected early enough, this can often be treated by getting tubes in the ears.
This fairly simple and common procedure can immensely help young children who have hearing loss caused by a build-up of fluid in the ear canal.
A family doctor can diagnose your child with a hearing loss disorder, but you can also visit an audiologist and speech pathologist. Audiologists and speech pathologists are specialists in hearing loss and associated speech disorders and can diagnose the issue as well as offer a treatment plan customized specifically for your child.
If you have seen any indications of hearing loss symptoms in your child, the sooner you get a diagnosis and treatment, the less overall damage your child will sustain.