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Symptoms and Causes of Hearing Loss in Children

Symptoms and Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
 
Today is the International Children's Day of 1st June 2021.As a new hearing aids brand,the Earsmate share you some information about the Symptoms and Causes of Hearing Loss in Children.The hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. If you think that a child might have hearing loss, ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible. 
 
First of all,it is necessary to learn some thing about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss in children.
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child. If you think that your child might have hearing loss, ask the child’s doctor for a hearing screening as soon as possible.  
Even if a child has passed a hearing screening before, it is important to look out for the following signs.
 
Signs in Babies
  • Does not startle at loud noises.
  • Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
  • Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
  • Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.
 
Signs in Children
  • Speech is delayed.
  • Speech is not clear.
  • Does not follow directions. This sometimes is mistaken for not paying attention or just ignoring, but could be the result of a partial or complete hearing loss.
  • Often says, “Huh?”
  • Turns the TV volume up too high.
  • Babies and children should reach milestones in how they play, learn, communicate and act. A delay in any of these milestones could be a sign of hearing loss or other developmental problem. 

 

Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
 
Otitis Media
What is otitis media?
 
Otitis media is an inflammation in the middle ear (the area behind the eardrum) that is usually associated with the buildup of fluid. The fluid may or may not be infected.
 
Symptoms, severity, frequency, and length of the condition vary. At one extreme is a single short period of thin, clear, noninfected fluid without any pain or fever but with a slight decrease in hearing ability. At the other extreme are repeated bouts with infection, thick "glue-like" fluid and possible complications such as permanent hearing loss.
 
Fluctuating conductive hearing loss nearly always occurs with all types of otitis media. In fact it is the most common cause of hearing loss in young children.
 
Congenital Causes
The term congenital hearing loss implies that the hearing loss is present at birth. It can include hereditary hearing loss or hearing loss due to other factors present either in utero (prenatal) or at the time of birth.
 
Genetic factors are thought to cause more than 50% of all incidents of congenital hearing loss in children (4). Genetic hearing loss may be autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, or X-linked (related to the sex chromosome).
 
In autosomal dominant hearing loss , one parent who carries the dominant gene for hearing loss and typically has a hearing loss passes it on to the child. In this case there is at least a 50% probability that the child will also have a hearing loss. The probability is higher if both parents have the dominant gene (and typically both have a hearing loss) or if both grandparents on one side of the family have hearing loss due to genetic causes. Because at least one parent usually has a hearing loss, there is prior expectation that the child may have a hearing loss.
 
In autosomal recessive hearing loss , both parents who typically have normal hearing, carry a recessive gene. In this case the probability of the child having a hearing loss is 25%. Because both parents usually have normal hearing, and because no other family members have hearing loss, there is no prior expectation that the child may have a hearing loss.
 
In X-linked hearing loss, the mother carries the recessive trait for hearing loss on the sex chromosome and passes it on to males, but not to females.
 
There are some genetic syndromes,in which, hearing loss is one of the known characteristics. Some examples are Down syndrome (abnormality on a gene), Usher syndrome (autosomal recessive), Treacher Collins syndrome (autosomal dominant), Crouzon syndrome (autosomal dominant), and Alport syndrome (X-linked).
 
Other causes of congenital hearing loss that are not hereditary in nature include prenatal infections, illnesses, toxins consumed by the mother during pregnancy or other conditions occurring at the time of birth or shortly thereafter. These conditions typically cause sensorineural hearing loss ranging from mild to profound in degree. Examples include:
 
  • Intrauterine infections including rubella (German measles), cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex virus
  • Complications associated with the Rh factor in the blood
  • Prematurity
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Toxemia during pregnancy
  • Lack of oxygen (anoxia)
 
Acquired Causes
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) (link to specific section above)
  • Ototoxic (damaging to the auditory system) drugs
  • Meningitis
  • Measles
  • Encephalitis
  • Chicken pox
  • Influenza
  • Mumps
  • Head injury
  • Noise exposure

Treatments and Intervention Services
No single treatment or intervention is the answer for every person or family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way. There are many different types of communication options for children with hearing loss and for their families. Some of these options include:
  • Learning other ways to communicate, such as sign language
  • Technology to help with communication, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants
  • Medicine and surgery to correct some types of hearing loss
  • Family support services
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