Does it seem like your child is listening less and less to you. You tell them to clean their bedroom, only to find it untouched hours later. You tell them to complete their homework, only to get a letter from the teacher the next day. They insist that they did not hear you, and you begin to worry about the possibility of hearing loss. Hearing loss can occur as any age, even as a younger child. If you suspect that your child might have some degree of hearing loss, consider the following determining factors.
Test different hearing levels
Is your child really struggling to hear you or do they simply not want to listen? Try communicating with them at different levels and tones and pay attention to their responses. Do they show any form of recognition? Do they make eye contact with you? Do they make any movements at the noise? Although this is not a thorough or definitive test, it is a great way to establish if further tests or medical evaluations are needed. With at least 1.4 million children (18 and younger) having hearing problems, it is important to consider it as a possibility.
Complete a home hearing test
Home hearing tests often involve a series of beeps and chimes. The child is focused solely on the test, so you can eliminate the ability for boredom or selective listening. Some children even see it as a type of game. Again, however, although a home hearing test is a great way to evaluate current hearing, it is not a definitive diagnosis tool. If your home hearing test shows some degree of hearing loss, it is important to schedule a consultation with a hearing specialist. They will complete a series of more involved hearing tests.
Test for ringing ears
Ringing ears, while not always an indicator of hearing loss, can cause problems with the ear. The medical term for ringing ears is tinnitus. Roughly 10% of the U.D. adult population, or about 25 million Americans, have experienced tinnitus lasting at least 5 minutes in the past year. Tinnitus can be caused by exposure to loud noises, or it can come from a hearing loss medical condition. Many younger children might not even realize that the ringing they are experiencing is troublesome. You can test them for ringing of the ears by explaining the sensation to them.
Work with a hearing specialist
If you still suspect that hearing loss is a possibility, work with a hearing specialist. They will conduct a series of hearing tests. They might also look at the ear and check for things like ringing ears, internal structure problems, and they might decide to fit them for digital hearing aids as a testing measure. If the digital hearing aids significantly improve listening, hearing loss is probable. Other treatment options might include custom hearing protection for loud environments, specific listening devices, or even ear surgery.
An ear surgery usually consists of a cochlear implant. This is an option when the hearing loss is caused by a problem with the cochlear. As of December 2012, approximately 324,000 cochlear implants have been implanted worldwide. In the United States, roughly 58,000 devices have been implanted in adults and 38,000 in children. However, before cochlear implant is considered, a thorough evaluation and diagnosis from a hearing specialist is important.
Children do not always listen to their parents. It can be difficult, as a parent, to establish if this is due to not wanting to listen, or if there is really a hearing problem occurring. If you suspect any degree of hearing damage within your child, it is important to evaluate it further. You can conduct at home hearing tests, as well as schedule something with your child?s school. If these tests show signs of damage, it is then important to consult with a hearing professional. There are many different testing and treatment options available today, including cochlear implants, digital hearing aids, and hearing protection devices. Digital hearing aids can increase your child?s ability to hear and your sanity to not repeat everything numerous times.