We live in a world where health concerns for kids are taking front and center in just about every area. From learning disabilities to vaccinations, taking all the necessary precautions to ensure your kids are healthy is more important than ever. One thing too many parents neglect, however, is having their child’s hearing checked. In many cases, things like falling grades or what may appear to be a learning disorder can in fact be attributed to a hearing problem.
Ear Infections and Hearing
Many kids suffer from ear infections throughout their childhood years. Doctors usually treat these problems with a course of antibiotics. What you may not realize, however, is that fluid buildup in the ear from infections can cause hearing loss. This is especially true when, after the infection clears up, the fluid does not drain properly.
In many cases, draining the fluid can actually clear up the hearing loss. However, if the problem is chronic and the child has multiple problems throughout their early years, they may be suffering from a problem like enlarged or inflamed adenoids that the doctor needs to remove.
Fluid accumulation is one of the most common causes of hearing difficulty in children, but there are other potential causes as well. These potential issues include:
- Impacted wax in the ears can create blockage and mute hearing. This issue can often be cleaned and flushed by an ENT doctor.
- Nerve issues from loud noises can cause damage. This generally occurs in older children who listen to their music at too high of volume.
- Complications from medications can damage the ear, though this is comparatively rare.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
If your child is having problems at school and displaying issues with learning, cognition and attention span, this can be the result of sensory issues. If they seem to be suffering from a delay in speech development, or a speech impediment, this could be because they are not clearly hearing the world around them.
Likewise, if your child speaks very loudly or is prone to yelling, hearing may be at fault. Loud volume when watching TV or listening to music is another indicator that your child may need to be checked out. All of these are red flags.
Getting the Ears Checked
Parents should have their children’s ears checked regularly throughout their early years. Such screenings are usually done right in your pediatrician’s office as part of a regular physical. All too often people are surprised to discover that what they thought was a learning disability or ADHD is actually a simple case of hearing loss. Usually, this can be treated if the cause is physical. Even in cases where the damage cannot be repaired, however, hearing aids can greatly improve the quality of life for kids who suffer with this problem.
Failing to have proper checks done whenever your kids have regular physicals can result in exacerbation of the condition. As listening ability worsens, other issues increase. If you think your child may benefit from an auditory examination, we are here to help. Give us a call today!