Hearing loss is not only present in the adult population; children can also be diagnosed with hearing loss. Many times, hearing loss can be mistaken for being inattentive or “just being a kid”. However, it is important to recognize the signs of hearing loss in this population. Here are some of the most common signs to look for:
- Your child frequently asks for others to repeat themselves. Parents may notice they have to say their child’s name several times before he or she acknowledges them, or they do not consistently follow directions. This can be confused with selective hearing or parents may think their child is distracted. If a child is not responsive to others or they complain that the other person is speaking softly or not clear enough, it could be a sign that the child has some hearing loss.
- They do not startle to loud sounds. If your child does not startle or does not seem to be bothered by loud impulse sounds such as a balloon popping or fireworks, it could be a sign they are not hearing many other sounds.
- The volume on the television needs to be louder than what is comfortable for others. If your child continues to increase the volume on the television, tablet, smartphone, or any other media, it could be a sign that they are not hearing it or the dialogue is not clear enough.
- They have difficulty determining where sounds are coming from. When a child has difficulty hearing, it can impact their ability to localize where the voice or sound originated. They may have to look around, this can be especially difficult when there is background noise present.
- Language development is delayed or their speech is unclear. This especially applies to infants and younger children. The first seven years of life are critical for language development. When a child is not able to hear the speech and language they are immersed in, it will impact their ability to produce speech and make sense of it.
While the causes of hearing loss can vary from genetics to recurring ear infections, a diagnostic hearing test can provide answers. If there are ever concerns regarding your child’s hearing, it is recommended that parents see an audiologist to discuss their concerns and have their child’s hearing assessed. If you would like to schedule an appointment for a hearing evaluation due to concerns you have about your child’s hearing please call our office at 260-426-8117