Does Your Child Need an Audiologist?
While hearing loss is commonly associated with older individuals, it is possible for children to experience this condition. Whether caused by hereditary factors or exposure to noise, it’s important to get them the treatment they need.
Hearing is important for a child’s development and it’s an integral part of their socialization. Without their ability to hear correctly, it hinders their social skills, makes it difficult for them to learn to differentiate sounds and also alienates them from siblings, family and friends. That’s why it’s important to address potential hearing issues as soon as possible, and this can only happen if you identify them.
Signs of hearing loss in children
First, let’s take a look at some of the signs of hearing loss in children.
- Your child doesn’t respond to loud noises like other people do
- Your child rarely turns their head in the direction of a sound
- Your child has trouble understand simple phrases by 12 months
- Your child doesn’t try to imitate certain sounds
- Your child has to turn the volume up much higher than others when watching TV
- Your child doesn’t respond to their name unless they’re looking at you
- Your child talks much more loudly than other children
If you see any of these signs in your children then it’s a good idea to book an appointment with your local audiologist in order to check if there is a problem with their hearing. Most children will react to noises and be able to tell where they’re coming from. A good sign of this is if you call their name, they should be able to turn around and look straight at you. However, if after 12 months your child still cannot differentiate your voice, then it may be an early sign of hearing loss.
You’ll want to ask your family doctor for a referral to an audiologist unless you personally know one. Make sure to select an audiologist with pediatric experience to ensure your child feels comfortable during their appointment. There’s not much preparation, but you may need to explain what’s going on to your child and help familiarize them with headphones, which they will use during the examination and testing appointment.
Hearing loss in children
Babies often go through a hearing screening before they leave the hospital. This is to ensure that they don’t have a hearing problem, but that doesn’t mean hearing loss can’t develop later on in their childhood. In fact, many genetic causes or exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss. Infections, medication and trauma can also cause hearing loss. Talk more with an audiologist to determine if your child needs treatment for hearing loss.