Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
It’s always beneficial to detect and treat hearing loss. However, when hearing loss occurs in a young child, it’s particularly important to find it and treat it early. While the child’s language abilities are still developing, the ability to hear is crucial.
In a young child, who can’t yet hold a conversation or express their difficulty hearing, the signs of hearing loss are different from the hearing loss signs seen in adults. So how can you know whether your child needs to see an audiologist in Paradise or Chico? Here are some potential signs of a hearing problem.
Signs that a child may have hearing loss
- The baby doesn’t startle at loud noises.
- The baby doesn’t turn toward the sound of a parent’s voice, or toward the source of other sounds.
- The baby or child has a delay in speech; for instance, he or she doesn’t speak single words by one year of age.
- The toddler doesn’t react to the names of objects (for instance, doesn’t point to a body part when it is named).
- The baby or child doesn’t react to certain sounds, such as high-pitched sounds.
- The child frequently doesn’t react to a parent’s commands or follows them incorrectly; this sometimes indicates a “listening problem,” but could also indicate a hearing problem.
- The child turns the volume on the TV up very high.
Keep in mind that not all children with hearing problems are born with them. Sometimes, a hearing problem develops later in childhood, due to an infection, a medication, or another factor. Even if your child has previously passed a hearing test, be alert for possible signs of a hearing problem. Your child will be screened for hearing problems at his or her regular pediatric appointments, but it’s still important for parents to observe the child during daily life.
Should my child see an audiologist?
If your child shows the warning signs above, then it is highly recommended he or she be evaluated by an audiologist. A professional audiologist, like Dr. Touchette, can evaluate your child’s hearing, detect any problems, and figure out what the cause of hearing loss may be. The audiologist can then advise you on how to treat any hearing loss that your child has.
An evaluation by an audiologist does not automatically mean that your child will have hearing aids. However, if your child does have a hearing problem, it’s important to treat it early, so that your child’s language ability can develop normally. Some parents worry about the stigma of hearing aids, but they may actually enhance (rather than harm) your child’s ability to fit in with peers, because he or she can interact with them more normally.
If you’re looking for an audiologist in the Butte County area for your child, please call our office to schedule a consultation. Our professional audiologist will help you and your child feel at ease during your evaluation, so neither of you feels anxious. Again, it’s important to have your child evaluated as soon as possible, so that his or her brain development is not affected.