Hearing loss is a devastating condition no matter what your age, but it is particularly heart breaking when it occurs in children. It is important to know how to recognize the signs of hearing loss in children so that you can keep an eye out for changes in your child’s behaviour and health condition and then get her the immediate help she deserves from a medical professional who is an expert in the sense of hearing.
The sooner you recognise the symptoms of childhood hearing loss, the sooner you can get help, and the sooner you can remedy the problem before it gets too late.
Young child playing at ease in a squatting position (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Babies and Toddlers
Babies and toddlers should respond to your vocal cues with their own sounds, such as cooing back at you when they are infants. Newborns will certainly react to sounds, either by being startled or being inspired to look in the direction a noise is coming from. If you find that your child isn’t responding to your voice or other sounds in the environment, it is time to bring him in to see a doctor.
As your infant grows, he will experience a better sense of hearing thanks to his maturing body. He will also respond to sounds by mimicking them and using his voice to begin to speak to you. By one year of age, a child should be saying quite a few simple terms. If your child is not responding to your voice within the first few months of development, and is also having difficulty speaking, this could be a sign that there is a problem with his sense of hearing.
Other signs of hearing problems in toddlers can include not responding when you whisper to him or speak to him from behind or from the side, being very difficult to understand as he speaks, not singing and dancing, turning one ear to hear you better if he has a weaker ear, and not speaking as many words as other children his age.
Children of All Ages
Children of all ages exhibit similar symptoms when they are suffering from any form of hearing loss. They will often misbehave, probably because they don’t properly hear your instructions. They may also misbehave as a result of feeling frustrated and tired from not being able to hear properly and having to strain to hear what people are saying.
Another sign your child may be suffering from hearing loss is if he has to turn the television or radio on much louder than other members of the family. And, as with toddlers and younger children, if a child’s speech development is delayed or he is having trouble speaking, it could be a sign that he is having too much trouble hearing.
Your child may only be able to hear certain sounds and will react to them, while being unable to hear other sounds and completely ignoring them as a result. He may not turn around when you call his name or he may not even know you are in the room if he doesn’t see you because he did not hear you come in.
About the author:
Laura is a writer for www.yourhearing.co.uk, a site that shares information on the sense of hearing, conditions that lead to hearing loss, and things people can do to prevent hearing loss in the first place.