Hearing Loss in Children
Identifying and treating hearing loss early reduces its impact on your child’s development, giving them the opportunity to live up to their full potential socially, emotionally, and cognitively.
Categories of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss in children is measured in degrees, ranging from mild to moderately severe to profound deafness, and typically falls into three main categories.
- Conductive hearing loss is the most common. It’s when sound is physically blocked in the external or middle ear. Causes could include an ear infection, fluid in the ear, impacted earwax, a perforated eardrum, or birth defects that alter the canal. Many of these are treatable through minor procedures or surgery.
- Sensorineural loss is the second type. It results from damage to the inner ear or hearing nerve. Most often, it is congenital, but other causes include the use of certain medications during pregnancy, a low birth weight, or treatments for certain other medical conditions. There is no cure for this type of hearing loss, but the use of hearing aids is an effective treatment.
- Mixed hearing loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Similarly, treatment options are a combination of therapies, depending on the nature and severity of the hearing loss.
Symptoms of Pediatric Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be difficult enough for adults to detect, let alone children, who aren’t always able to articulate the source of their difficulties in life. There are a number of signs to look for if you’re concerned that your child may be suffering from a hearing loss.