Hearing loss can be very stressful, particularly if it is a child that is afflicted.
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 450 million people who have hearing loss worldwide, and 34 million of those are children.
It is fair to say then, with that statistic in mind, that hearing loss among children is a large problem that needs to be addressed.
Hearing loss can have serious implications on a person’s life and can leave them lonely, sad, isolated, and most of all, frustrated.
Both Hilde Schlesinger and Kathryn Meadow, specialists in deafness, agree that among children with hearing problems, emotional problems are ‘three-to-six times as common’.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything that we think you need to know about hearing loss in children.
We hope that, with this page, you will be able to learn as much about hearing loss as it is for you to know.
Hearing loss in children – here’s what you should know.
Classification of Hearing Loss Among Children
There are four different criteria for the classification of hearing loss among children, which are the location of the injury, individual differences, the degree of the hearing loss, and the time of appearance.
There are also other classifications such as:
- Perlocutive. Hearing loss appears during speech learning.
- Postlocutive. Hearing loss appears once language has been established.
- Prelocutive. Hearing loss appears before language learning.
A child’s hearing loss can also be classified according to the degree of the hearing loss itself.
- Mild. A child can still hear 20 to 40 dB.
- Moderate. A child can only hear 40 to 70 dB.
- Severe. A child can hear only 70 to 90 dB.
- Profound. A child’s loss is greater than 90 dB.
dB in the above context refers to decibels, which is a unit of sound measurement.
There is also:
- Conductive. Conductive is when an injury occurs in the transmission of sound through the middle and outer ear.
- Sensorineural. Sensorineural is when the injury occurs in the inner ear or the auditory nerve pathway.
The final classifications of hearing loss, which is the individual differences of each individual child, is:
- The time of the injury’s detection.
- The aetiology of the loss.
- The child’s intellectual level.
- The child’s environment.
Detection of Hearing Loss in Children
When children are newborn, doctors have them undergo acoustic assessment tests in order to ensure that they do not have hearing problems. However, hearing problems can manifest at any point in a person’s life and during a child’s development, which means in order for you to make an early diagnosis and detect hearing loss early, a doctor must undertake specialized audiometry exams and tests on the child.
These tests can evaluate hearing problems and diagnose a child with them if any become apparent.
Generally, a child will enter a soundproof booth and will be asked to listen to some noises through headphones.
When the child is wearing the headphones, they will be asked to indicate if they have heard noises by raising their hands.
The volume of the noises will gradually be reduced until the child cannot hear them. Afterward, with the test results, the child’s level of hearing will be established.
It is best to have these tests done earlier as opposed to late in a child’s life, for the consequences of hearing loss can be severe.
If a child does have hearing loss, they will need to attend speech therapy also, so that they can develop healthily.
Treatment of hearing loss can be quite tricky. Sometimes, a child, according to the Staten Island-based hearing loss experts from Audiology, can be treated with a hearing aid; so whether your child needs hearing aids from professionals in your area, give it some thought, but of course first consult a doctor. The treatment of hearing loss can be particularly difficult, and a lot of research is going (and has gone) into it.
The implications of hearing loss on a child’s life can be devastating, especially if they have not yet had the opportunity to develop speech.
Hearing loss is a growing problem, the world over.
If you are living with a child who is experiencing some form of hearing loss, it is fundamentally important that you take them to a speech therapist to ensure that they are able to develop their speech.
Speech therapy can be highly beneficial for children who have not yet been able to develop their speech and are suffering from hearing loss.
Hearing loss presents a huge problem to children and adults, though we hope to have demystified hearing loss in children for you here today.
Thank you for reading this article, please let us know any of your thoughts in the comments below!