Hearing loss can happen at any age. In fact, nearly 12 percent of kids age 6 through 19 have noise induced hearing loss according to the American Academy of Audiology. The birth defect occurring most frequently in our country is hearing loss. According to the American Speech and Language Association, that number translates to around 12,000 kids each year who are born with hearing loss.
Hearing loss could delay language development. – Language development in the brain of children is at its highest level between age 0 and 3. Hearing is vital to normal speech development because this process begins in young children with the ability to listen. Language skills are vital in order for kids to go on to learn how to read effectively.
Childhood hearing losses aren’t necessarily lifelong.
– Hearing loss could be a temporary problem in some children resulting from issues such as ear wax occluding the middle ear, or ear infections. Early intervention such as minor surgery or medical treatment could reverse temporary hearing loss in some instances. Ear infections left untreated could cause permanent hearing loss, so be sure to seek medical attention right away when there is a possibility of ear infections.
Language development is positively impacted by early intervention. – Early detection is vital. When hearing loss is caught early, children’s language skills develop normally. Due to earlier treatment, infants whose hearing loss was detected at age 6 months or younger proved to develop better language skills than kids whose hearing impairment wasn’t discovered until after 6 months of age.
Some hearing loss can be prevented. – It may be surprising to note that noise related hearing loss is 100 percent avoidable. Protect your kids‚Äô ears with ear plugs and/or earmuffs and turn down the volume on the stereo, television, game systems and MP3 player to avoid noise related hearing loss in your children and teens.
Parents are often times the first to identify early signs of hearing loss in young children.
– Parents are many times the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in infants such as: no reaction to noises made by toys or not making babbling sounds like normal infants. When babies are nine months or older you should notice that they understand and respond to basic requests and mimic sounds and noises made by others. For a more in depth list of normal milestones for babies and young children to assess possible hearing loss, ask your hearing specialist or hearing instrument specialist. Be sure to find out about recommended screenings as well.