3 Pediatric Hearing Loss Types All Parents Should Know

hearing loss typesAs a parent, it can be scary to know that around two or three children out of every 1,000 are born with some level of hearing loss. Even mild hearing loss can lead to developmental problems or delays. Identifying a hearing deficit in your child early is crucial and leads to better outcomes. Think your child may be showing signs of hearing loss? Keep reading to find out more about signs to look out for and the three common hearing loss types.

Signs to Look For

Hearing screenings are universal with newborns, but it is important to be alert to any signs of problems down the road. Make sure your child turns and smiles when spoken to. They should also make babbling sounds by 9-15 months. As your child ages, other signs of hearing loss can include turning the tv volume up very high or not replying when called. Academic problems without other clear causes may also be a result of hearing problems. You should be concerned if your starts missing any speech and language developmental milestones.

1. Conductive Hearing Loss

Conducting hearing loss happens when something blocks sound waves from reaching the inner ear. Causes for this type of hearing loss sometimes is a result of issues in the outer ear such as infections or tumors. Excess ear wax in the ear canal or narrow ear canals can also lead to this type of hearing loss. Treatment for conductive hearing loss starts with medication. If this does not solve the issue, children are usually referred to a specialist. If surgery will not resolve the issue, hearing aids are commonly used.

2. Sensorineural Hearing Loss

On the opposite side of the spectrum, sensorineural hearing loss happens when hearing nerves don’t work properly. Sound reaches the inner ear, but is not transmitted to the brain. This type of hearing loss can stem from cochlea problems like infection, tumor, or an injury. Sensorineural hearing loss can also occur due to problems with nerves or areas in the brain responsible for hearing. Currently, no medication or surgery is able to treat this type of hearing loss like they can with conductive hearing loss. These children can, however, gain vast benefits from using hearing aids.

3. Mixture of Hearing Loss Types

While there are two main categories of hearing loss for children, many cases do not fit neatly into one or the other. Many children will have a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. When children have a mixture of hearing loss types, it requires a mixture of treatment. When possible, medication or surgery will be used to treat any physical causes for hearing trouble. This will be followed up with hearing aids. Consider discussing cochlear implants with your doctor.

When in Doubt, Schedule an Assessment

Now that you know what to look for in your child, you can take action and take steps to help your child. Do you still have some concerns? Reach out and schedule a hearing evaluation today!
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