At angli-EAR Hearing, we’re proud to offer paediatric services, designed to help children from school-age onwards flourish, setting the minds of parents and carers at ease. Much more so than adults, hearing problems in youngsters can lead to delays with language and speech development, academic setbacks, stunted social skills and a loss of overall confidence.
It’s always vital to seek diagnosis and treatment as soon as symptoms present themselves. Studies illustrate that treating hearing loss before a baby reaches six months of age results in significantly better speech and language outcomes than those who delay the management. Research also shows that correctly fitted hearing aids with the appropriate after-care and support boost school performance in children who have hearing loss.
Overall hearing loss is fairly common in children. It is estimated that about 15% of children and teens have some degree of loss. Of these, 60% are preventable. In many cases, hearing loss is slight, only affecting one ear. Severe hearing loss is much less common. Causes include genetic factors, injury, infection, medication, premature birth or obstructions such as earwax or foreign objects.
Difficulties with hearing in children and teenagers can manifest as one of many behavioural conditions. So, if a child is being assessed for ADHD or a learning disorder, it’s important to get a hearing check, too.
Signs of hearing loss
In younger children, a lack of developmental milestones can be indicators of loss. By the ages listed, children should be exhibiting the following behaviours.
Birth to four months:
● Startled by loud noises
● Woken or stirred by sounds
● Responds to speech by smiling or cooing
● Soothed by familiar voices
Four to nine months:
● Smiles when spoken to
● Notices sound-producing toys
● Turns towards familiar noises
● Makes some aural sounds
Nine to 15 months:
● Makes and repeats babbling sounds
● Understands some basic requests
● Uses voice to seek attention
● Responds to name
15 to 24 months:
● Uses many simple words
● Follows basic requests
● Listens with interest to songs and stories
Even if older children possess the language skills to articulate other issues, it’s important to note that they may not even be aware of their hearing loss. Here’s what to look out for.
● Unresponsive or responds incorrectly
● Asks for things to be repeated
● Watches lips closely when spoken to
● Speaks loudly or without clarity
● Struggles with reading, spelling and phonics
● Complains of ear pain
If you have concerns about your child’s developmental milestones before the age of 5 years old then please get in touch with your GP to discuss.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s hearing after 5 years of age, arrange an appointment with us today. We create a relaxed environment for children and adults alike, and testing and treatment is tailored to age, so there’s no cause for concern.
Contact us for further information, or book an appointment.