According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention™, five out of every 1,000 children are affected by hearing loss. Because loss of hearing is less common and more difficult to diagnose in children than it is in adults, parents tend to have several questions about their children’s hearing. See if some of your questions are answered, here.
A Guide to Children’s Hearing Loss
How Should I Screen My Newborn’s Hearing?
Congenital hearing loss is present at birth and can be caused by several factors, from genetics to birth complications. The hospital will screen your newborn’s hearing within their first two days and bring them back in for a second screening in a few weeks if they fail. By the age of four months, your child should startle at loud sounds and respond to your voice by smiling or cooing. If they aren’t doing this, you should take them in for another screening.
Is Hearing Loss Genetic?
Hearing loss can be genetic in newborns. The most common type of genetic congenital hearing loss is autosomal recessive loss. This means that, though neither parent suffers hearing problems, both parents carry a recessive gene that was passed to the child. One parent who has hearing loss can also pass it to the child, which is called autosomal dominant loss. Some genetic syndromes can cause it as well, such as Down syndrome, Usher syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, and Waardenburg syndrome.
What Causes Acquired Hearing Loss?
Acquired hearing loss occurs after birth. It is becoming more common in teens due to louder environments and listening to music too loudly in headphones. Other causes could include a perforated eardrum, a head injury, frequent ear infections, exposure to secondhand smoke, and infections such as meningitis or the measles.
What Is Transient Hearing Loss?
Transient hearing loss is often caused by middle ear infections – also called otitis media – in which the fluid in the middle ear stops the bones from vibrating properly. It’s often temporary, and hearing is restored after the infection is cleared up. However, if the infection goes untreated or a child suffers many infections, it can cause permanent damage to the bones, auditory nerve, or eardrum.
County Hearing and Balance treats hearing loss patients of all ages at their office in Madison, CT. Bring your child in for a hearing screening if you suspect any problems, and their audiologist will evaluate your child for a treatment plan if it’s needed. They have a full range of state-of-the-art hearing devices to restore your child’s hearing for proper development. Learn more about their practice online and call (203) 245-1950 to schedule your appointment.