In the first few years of life, hearing plays a critical role in kid’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Even a partial or mild hearing loss problem could impact your child’s ability to speak and understand language.
Fortunately, hearing problems can be treated if they are diagnosed early. A routine kids hearing test will discover any problems early in their development, that is why it is essential to get your child’s hearing tested and evaluated regularly.
Causes Of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a common problem that affects one to three out of ever one thousand babies. A number of facts can result in a hearing loss, and in some cases, there is no particular cause. However, some of the most common reasons for hearing loss are:
- Premature birth
- Birth complications
- The baby stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit
- The baby had high bilirubin and needed a transfusion
- Improper medications
- Frequent ear infections
- Infections such as cytomegalovirus or meningitis
- Exposure to very loud sounds and noise
Symptoms Of A Hearing Loss
Even if your newborn passes the hearing test, it is important that you keep looking for signs that indicate his hearing is normal. Some hearing milestones your child should achieve in the first year of his life include:
- A newborn infant should startle or ‘jump’ to sudden loud noises;
- A 3 months old baby usually recognizes their parents’ voices;
- A 6 months old infant can often turn his/her head or eyes towards sounds;
- A 12 months child, can generally imitate some sounds and create a few words, such as ‘mama’ or ‘bye-bye”.
As your child grows, the signs of a hearing loss may include poor, limited or no speech; having difficulties learning and playing; being frequently inattentive; turning up the TV volume and failing to respond to conversations the right way.
Why are Hearing Tests Important?
Performing a hearing test right after birth can help diagnose hearing loss in babies, and a kids hearing test performed during childhood can identify any issues that have been missed or may have gotten worse. Without routine hearing tests, hearing problems could go undiagnosed for months and even years. It’s important to understand that hearing problems should be identified as early as possible since they can affect your child’s speech and language development, education and social skills. In addition, treatment for hearing loss is more effective when problems are detected and managed early. An early diagnosis will also help ensure that you and your child receive the special support services that you might need.