By Kevin Kock, Au.D.
Hearing loss can be a major issue for children, and it can significantly impact their development and quality of life. Because hearing is linked to speech, language, and even behavior, it is crucial to detect hearing loss early on. This way appropriate interventions can be put in place that ensure the child have the best support as they learn and grow. In this article, we will explore some of the signs of hearing loss in children that parents and caregivers should look out for.
1. Delayed or unclear speech: A child with hearing loss may have difficulty hearing sounds, which can cause them to struggle to develop clear speech. Delayed speech development or unclear speech could be an early indicator of hearing loss.
2. Difficulty following instructions: Children with hearing loss may find it challenging to follow instructions, especially in noisy environments or when they cannot see the person giving the instructions. This can lead to frustration and difficulties in social situations.
3. Turning up the volume: If your child is consistently turning up the volume on the TV or other electronic devices, this could be a sign of hearing loss. Children with hearing loss may not be able to hear sounds at lower volumes and therefore need to increase the volume to hear. Note that most devices allow you to set a limit on the loudness of music players.
4. Behavior issues: Children with hearing loss may experience frustration, irritability, and anger due to their difficulties communicating and understanding others. This can lead to behavior issues, such as tantrums or aggressive behavior.
5. Withdrawn or inattentive: Children with hearing loss may withdraw from social situations or become inattentive due to the difficulties they experience in communicating with others. They may appear shy or disengaged and may struggle to pay attention in school or other activities.
6. Ringing in the ears: Children with hearing loss may experience a ringing or buzzing sound in their ears. This is known as tinnitus and can be a sign of hearing damage.
As a parent, family member, or caregiver, it is crucial to look out for the signs of hearing loss and seek appropriate interventions if necessary. If you notice any of these signs in your child, it is essential to speak to your healthcare provider or an audiologist. An audiologist can perform hearing tests to determine if your child has hearing loss and recommend appropriate interventions, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. If hearing is looking good, they may have recommendations for classroom accommodations or other services that may be appropriate to consider, such as behavioral testing.
By working together with healthcare providers and audiologists, we can ensure that children with hearing loss receive the proper supports to help them learn and grow.
Now is a great time to have your hearing checked! Audiology Consultants’ offices are located at 2215 East 52nd St., #2, Davenport, IA: 563-355-7712; 600 Valley View Dr., Moline, IL: 309-517-3889; Unity Point Clinic, 3426 North Port Dr., #500, Muscatine, IL: 563-264-9406; or Hammond Henry Hospital, 600 College Ave., Geneseo, IL: 309-944-9181.