When most people think of a hearing test, they think of seniors heading into a doctor's office to see why they have to keep turning the volume up on their television. What you may not consciously realize, however, is that sensory loss can occur at any age. It is something to be especially aware of in children, who may be born with difficulties that are very difficult to diagnose. Not all ear problems come with listening to music too loud, after all. A child needs to be able to hear well to develop properly. Below are some things you need to know about checking your child's ears.
Even if there are no obvious signs of injury, it is important that a child get a regular hearing test. Experts advise having a newborn's ears checked for any problems before being discharged from the hospital. If you had your baby under other circumstances, take the child in to the doctor within the first few weeks to have this screening run. If there is any anomaly in the screening, return to have the child re-tested soon. The sooner treatment can begin, the more successful it is likely to be. Of course, those first few months are not the only critical time period. Auditory loss can strike at any time. Official screenings should occur again at various ages through school.
The American Speech Language Hearing Association advises that a child's auditory problems may not come to light until they are over a year old, if there is no reliance on an official hearing test. This is why it is so important to implement this screening and make sure your child is available for the testing. If a child's inability to hear is missed, they can underperform in school. This affects not only their first years of education, but also can follow them through their own school career. Once a child falls behind, it can be extremely difficult to catch up. Children whose auditory loss is detected and treated are much more likely to succeed educationally and socially.
Symptoms of Loss
Even if you are good about making sure your child has his hearing test, you should be alert to any problems you see with their ability to hear. Observe the child and watch for any telltale signs of trouble. A healthy child will show signs of being started by loud noises, turning their attention to a sound by the time they are six months old, and starting to imitate the sounds they hear when they are a year old. Failure to reach these milestones may not be related to auditory problems, but they are a sign that something could be wrong. Make sure your child is evaluated by a doctor so that problems can be addressed quickly.