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Pediatric Audiology

peds2No child is too young to have their hearing tested. Children acquire a significant amount of language from listening to the speech and language of others. If a hearing loss is present, especially during the first few years of life, the child is deprived much of the language learning opportunity. Early diagnosis of hearing loss in children is critical for proper speech and language development. If your child has hearing loss or you suspect your child has hearing loss, forming a strong and comfortable relationship with an audiologist is a crucial step in helping your child achieve optimum communication skills.

Children with hearing loss who begin working with a qualified audiologist early in their life, adjust significantly better to life in a hearing world than children who don’t and many causes of pediatric hearing loss are treatable. We have worked with many young children and their parents and encourage you to contact the Fairbanks Hearing & Balance Center today.

Hearing loss affects 12,000 children born in the United States each year which makes it the most common medical issue affecting young children.

Causes of Hearing Loss in Children http://www.asha.org

Types of Pediatric Hearing Loss

Conductive

Conductive hearing loss is the most common form seen in children. This type of hearing issues is associated with the external or middle ear. Many of these conditions are treatable and include:

  • ear infection
  • Otitis Media
  • fluid in the ear
  • ¬†impacted ear wax
  • a perforated ear drum
  • a foreign object in the canal
  • birth defects that alter the canal.

Sensorineural or Acquired Hearing loss

Acquired hearing loss is a hearing loss which appears after birth, at any time in one’s life, perhaps as a result of a disease, a condition, or an injury. The following are examples of conditions that can cause acquired hearing loss in children are:

  • Ear infections (otitis media)-(see specific section above)
  • Ototoxic (damaging to the auditory system) drugs
  • Meningitis
  • Measles
  • Encephalitis
  • Chicken pox
  • Influenza
  • Mumps
  • Head injury
  • Noise exposure

 

Most of the time, sensorineural hearing loss cannot be medically or surgically corrected however working with an Audiologist for timely testing, diagnosis and treatment will naturally provide your child with the best possible outcome.

What to look for:

Infants:

    • Not startling at loud noises
    • Slow speech development

Toddler and older:

  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Needing the volumn up too high
  • Not responding when someone is talking to them
  • Complains of not hearing you
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