Taking Your Child to the Audiologist
If you suspect your child needs a hearing test, you should book an appointment with an audiologist at your earliest opportunity. As hearing is essential for your child's speech and language development, it is important to address any difficulties they may be having before their hearing gets worse. Early detection is key, but no matter how old your child is, you should still seek professional help if they are showing signs of hearing loss.
How Do I Know If My Child Has a Hearing Problem?
For very young children, such as babies and infants, there are a few common signs of hearing loss you can pick up on. If they fail to respond to you when you speak to them, or if their speech and language skills are delayed, these could be signs that they are showing signs of hearing loss.
Be on the lookout for similar in your older children. Of course, if they don't respond to your voice, it might simply be that they're glued to their screens! But if the volume on their devices is turned up high, and if they clearly show signs of difficulty when trying to listen to what you have to say, these could signify issues with their hearing. Some children with hearing loss also have trouble at school, so if they are behind on their work or if their teacher suggests they have behavioral problems, these concerns could be associated with issues related to their hearing.
What Causes Hearing Loss in Children?
Some children are born with a condition known as congenital hearing loss. Many things can cause this type of hearing loss, but in a lot of cases, the cause is genetic. It occurs when parents, including those without hearing impairments, pass down to their child the recessive gene that can cause hearing loss. In a lot of cases, parents don't know they are carrying this gene until after hearing loss has been diagnosed in their child.
In babies, there can be other causes for hearing loss, such as birth complications or medications that were used by the mother. For older children, perforated eardrums, head injuries, exposure to loud noises and certain infections are some of the common causes of hearing loss.
It's important to note that if you suspect your child is struggling to hear, it might be because of a buildup of earwax or a case of glue ear. These are only temporary issues and can be remedied with advice from your audiologist and doctor.
Taking Your Child to An Audiologist
An audiologist is the best person to see if you suspect your child is having difficulty with their hearing. They have been trained to detect, assess and treat hearing problems for people of all ages, so if you recognize signs of hearing loss in your child, be sure to make an appointment.
As we suggested, the cause of your child's hearing loss may be temporary.
However, they might also have auditory processing disorder (APD). This is a condition whereby a child can struggle to process auditory sounds correctly, which can make life difficult for them at home and in the classroom. This disorder can be present in people of all ages, including adults, although it often starts in childhood. Advanced listening tests will be used to evaluate whether your child has this disorder or not and your audiologist will talk about the next step should APD be diagnosed.
In some cases of hearing loss, it might be that your child needs to wear a hearing aid. If this is the case, your audiologist will recommend the appropriate devices to you after your child has undergone a hearing evaluation. We know that this will probably be the worst-case scenario for you, but it's important to remember that a hearing aid is essential for both your child's quality of life and their speech and language development. Hearing aids are available for children of all ages, including babies and you will be given all the advice you need to help your child if they have to wear one.
Get In Touch
Whatever the issue is with your child's hearing, you will have peace of mind after talking to an audiologist. They will listen to your concerns, carry out all the necessary tests and evaluations and will advise you on the best way forward. You will also get the opportunity to get the answers to any questions you might have.
So, if you suspect your child has hearing loss, get in touch with us today. At Arkansas Professional Hearing Care, we are here to assist both you and your child, with fully trained staff that have experience of working with people of all ages. Call us today at 501-614-7904 and book an appointment with us.