Hearing loss can also occur later childhood, after a newborn leaves the hospital. In these cases, parents, grandparents, and other caregivers are often the first to notice that something may be wrong with a young childs hearing. Even if your childs hearing was tested as a newborn, you should continue to watch for signs of hearing loss including:
- Family member or teachers concern regarding, delays in speech and language development, attention or behavioral difficulties and academic performance.
- Inappropriate, delayed or lack of response to soft and moderate level sounds.
- Intently watching the faces of speakers
- Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
- Sitting near TV set when the volume is adequate for others
- Not startled by intense sounds
- Not turning his/her head in the direction of your voice
- Speaking loudly or not using age-appropriate language skills
- Does not begin to imitate and use simple words for familiar people and things around the home
- Does not show consistent growth in the understanding and the use of words to communicate
- Does not sound like or use speech like other children of similar age
What Happens If my Child Has a Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss in children can be temporary or permanent. It is important to have hearing loss evaluated by a physician who can rule out medical problems that may be causing the hearing loss, such as otitis media (ear infection), excessive earwax congenital malformations, or a genetic hearing loss.
If it is determined that the childs hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids may be recommended to amplify the sound reaching your childs ear. Ear surgery may be able to restore or significantly improve hearing in some instances. For those with certain types of profound hearing loss who do not benefit sufficiently from hearing aids, a cochlear implant may be considered. Unlike a hearing aid, a cochlear implant bypasses damaged parts of the auditory system and directly stimulates the hearing nerve and allows the child to hear louder and clearer sound. Research indicates that habilitation of hearing loss by age six months will prevent subsequent language delays. Other communication strategies such as lip reading may also be used in conjunction with a hearing aid or cochlear implant, or independently. Communicate with your child often. You can do this by holding, facing, smiling at, and responding to your infant. Children need love, encouragement, and care from their families and caregivers. Keep informed about available intervention programs, and take part in all decisions regarding your child's progress. Remember: your child’s hearing--like your child’s overall health--is your responsibility.
What should I do if my baby’s hearing hasn’t been screened yet?
If your childs hearing has not been screened, ask your ENT specialist where such facilities are available and then make an appointment for the same. Those who are in Bangalore and want an appt at Apollo can send in a mail.