There are two types of hearing loss in children; congenital is present at birth and acquired occurs after birth. As with hearing loss in adults, pediatric hearing loss can be conductive, sensorineural or mixed. Congenital hearing loss can be caused by an infection during pregnancy, birth complications or a genetic syndrome (such as Ushers or Down’s). An untreated ear infection, an injury to the head, or excessive noise (such as fireworks) can lead to acquired hearing loss.
It is important to treat pediatric hearing loss as soon as possible. Children learn to communicate by imitating the sounds they hear; if their hearing loss goes untreated their speech and language can become delayed and they can develop social or academic difficulties. In infants, there are a few things to look out for:
- Does your child not startle at loud noises?
- Does your child turn their head when they see you but not when you call their name?
- Does your child seem to hear some sounds but not others?
In older children, the signs to look out for are:
- Is your child’s speech unclear?
- Does your child say “huh” a lot?
- Does your child turn the TV volume up too high?
If you notice any of these signs, or if you suspect your child may have difficulty hearing, contact Central Florida Hearing Services at (863) 386-9111 to schedule an evaluation with our audiologist.