About one out of every five people suffers from hearing loss in Goodyear. If you think only older people are affected, guess again: hearing loss can impact people of all ages – even children. Key differences in pediatric hearing loss vs. adult hearing loss mean options for treatment will vary.
Children and Hearing Loss
While most of us picture the stereotypical hearing-impaired individual as elderly, in reality only a third of those who suffer from hearing loss are older than 65. Two out of three babies are born with hearing loss in Goodyear – the result of heredity, disease or birth difficulties. And an increasing number of adolescents and young adults also must contend with hearing loss, often resulting from excessive noise exposure. Other causes of hearing loss in children include ear infections, illnesses, accidents or physical trauma and the side effects of prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
Hearing loss is no picnic for anybody, but it can be especially problematic when it affects children. Pediatric hearing loss can lead to delays in speech and language, putting the child at risk for social, emotional and academic difficulties. Because of this, early detection is particularly important. As a parent, it’s important to watch out for signs of hearing loss in your child. Be on the lookout for any of the following:
- Failure to startle or respond to loud noises
- Delays in speech and language/limited vocabulary
- Frequent ear infections
- Disorders associated with hearing loss, such as Down syndrome or autism
- Family history of hearing loss
Treatment for Pediatric Hearing Loss
When adults in Goodyear are diagnosed with hearing loss, they are likely to be given hearing aids. These devices prove beneficial for nine out of ten adult patients. Children, on the other hand, but have additional options available.
Depending on the cause of your child’s hearing loss and its degree of severity, there may be alternatives to traditional hearing aids. When an ear infection (otitis media) causes hearing loss, often treatment to drain fluid buildup responsible for the infection will reverse the symptoms. Recurrent ear infections might benefit from surgical placement of ear tubes to promote drainage and improve ventilation. Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids can also cause hearing loss in children. Surgery to remove these tissues – either tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy – will usually result in rapid improvement. Other options include medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines and decongestants.
And yes, many children will benefit from hearing aids, as well. Certain types, such as behind-the-ear aids, are easy to use and very popular with kids. If your child is experiencing hearing difficulties in Goodyear, we urge you to make an appointment with an audiologist as early as possible in order to prevent long-term problems.