Pediatric Audiology Services
Hearing is essential in the development of a child’s speech, language, cognitive, educational, and social abilities. Children learn to speak by listening. The human ear is actually a fully developed part of our bodies at birth. Even before birth, infants respond to sound in utero, and from the moment they are born, children continue to learn about the world around them through hearing.
Currently, most newborns receive a newborn hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. However, hearing loss can develop at any age. It is recommended that children receive regular hearing screenings as they grow and during their school years. If your child failed a hearing screening or if you are concerned about your child’s hearing, contact us to schedule a comprehensive hearing test.
Hearing Loss in Children Can Be Congenital or Acquired
- Approximately three to six out of every 1000 infants are born with congenital hearing loss
- Approximately 12% of all children ages 6 to 19 have noise-induced hearing loss
Congenital Hearing Loss
Hearing loss which a child is born with is referred to as congenital hearing loss. Common causes include genetic factors, prematurity, infection during pregnancy, and other medical conditions.
Acquired Hearing Loss
Acquired hearing loss refers to hearing loss that occurs after birth. Common causes include chronic ear infections, bacterial or viral infections such as meningitis or measles, head injury, exposure to loud noise, or exposure to ototoxic medications.
Protect Your Child’s Hearing
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is permanent and is almost always preventable!
- Noise-induced hearing loss can occur at any age (12% of children ages 6-19 have noise-induced hearing loss)
- Teach your child to turn down the volume when listening to the TV, iPod, MP3 player, or radio, especially when listening through earbuds or headphones.
- Teach your child to walk away from loud noises
- Have your child wear proper hearing protection when they are in very noisy environments, such as concerts or sporting events.
How Do I Know If My Child or Baby Hears Me?
Hearing is the primary sense through which a child learns speech and language. Be aware of your child’s speech, language, and hearing milestones.
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing or speech and language development, call us to schedule a hearing test.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
- Concern by a family member or teacher that a child is not quick to hear things
- Delays in the development of a child’s ability to speak and use language as compared to others of the same age
- Difficulty paying attention and behaving
- Difficulty with academic performance
- Inappropriate, delayed, or lack of response to soft and moderate-level sounds or spoken language when distractions are minimal
- Frequent use of “what?” or “huh?”
- Intently watching the faces of speakers
- Difficulty understanding speech when there is background noise
- Sitting close to the TV when the volume is loud enough for others; increasing the volume on the TV or other audio electronics to unreasonably loud levels
- Not responding to voices over the telephone or continually switching ears when on the phone
- Not “jumping” or becoming startled by sudden, loud noises
- Unable to accurately figure out where a sound is coming from