CAUSES OF CHILDREN'S HEARING LOSS
As a parent, you want your child to grow up strong, happy, and healthy. Hearing loss can ruin those plans, leading to a wide range of negative outcomes. It can affect your child’s ability to learn how to speak, can lead to behavioural problems, and will affect their social interaction and development, as well. Why does hearing loss affect children, though? Understanding hearing loss in children is the first step for parents, and there are actually several potential causes here.
Genetics: One of the most common causes for hearing loss in children is genetic. If you or the other parent have hearing loss to any degree, there is a chance it will be passed on to your child. If any family members have hearing loss, it is possible that these genes will be passed to your child.
Problems During Pregnancy: In some cases, hearing loss in children is caused not by genetics, but by health issues experienced by the mother during pregnancy. For instance, if you have diabetes, or develop preeclampsia during pregnancy, this can cause hearing loss in your child. Premature birth can lead to hearing loss, as can poor prenatal care.
Ear Infections: One very common cause of hearing damage and loss in children is recurrent or severe single ear infections that lead to otitis media. In mild cases, this hearing loss may be temporary, but in serious situations, it can be permanent.
Illnesses: Many common childhood illnesses can lead to hearing loss. For instance, something as seemingly common as the flu could leave your child with reduced hearing. Other illnesses that might affect his or her hearing include meningitis, measles, chickenpox, and encephalitis.
Injuries: Finally, injuries to the head, exposure to loud sounds, and even medication can harm your child’s hearing.
HEARING TESTS FOR toddlers & children
Determining whether your child suffers from hearing loss can be difficult. Children do not perform well in hearing tests designed for adults. At Hear Pure, we use audiometry testing and play audiometry testing to determine whether your child has hearing loss, and what degree of hearing loss may be present.
Play Audiometry: Children from the age of 4 can be engaged through play audiometry, which involves the use of toys and your child’s reactions to specific sounds. For instance, he or she might be told to drop a toy into a bin when they hear a specific tone. The loudness of sounds is adjusted throughout the test to determine your child’s full range of hearing.
Older Children can respond to sounds by saying yes or no or by pressing a response button. The sounds come through headphones placed over the ears and the test take take around 20 minutes.