In order to thrive in school and social settings, a child must be able to hear well. Hearing loss can have profound effects on a child's learning capabilities and self-confidence, so if your child has shown signs of being unable to hear properly, it's time to make an appointment with Children's Ear, Nose and Throat Associates in Orlando, FL. Fortunately, most cases of childhood hearing loss are treatable.
Symptoms of hearing loss in children
Babies and children who can hear normally wake up or startle at loud noises. They also turn their eyes or head toward sounds; your voice, a car passing on the road, or a television being turned on. Not displaying these behaviors regularly may warrant a call to your Orlando ENT. Older children who don't reply when called, ask for people to repeat themselves, or develop speech impediments may be dealing with hearing loss, especially if they complain of headaches or ear pain.
Reasons for hearing loss
Childhood hearing loss is divided into two categories: congenital; that is, present before or at birth, and acquired, which occurs later. Since most cases of congenital hearing loss are detected early on, your Orlando ENT doctor will be focusing on acquired hearing loss in this post. Your child may be affected with hearing loss due to an ear infection; children are more prone to ear infections because the tubes within the ears are shorter than adults' and can become clogged more easily. A buildup of earwax may also cause a child to be unable to hear properly. Children who have undergone chemotherapy are at risk for diminished hearing as a side effect of the medication. Infrequently, a head injury or nerve damage may cause hearing loss, the latter of which is permanent.
Treatment for hearing loss
Often hearing can be restored with medication to dissolve earwax or clear up an infection. A routine procedure to lengthen and expand the tubes in the ears may also make a difference in children who have frequent ear infections. For situations that can't be resolved this way, hearing aids can make a big difference for a child with hearing loss. Your Orlando pediatric ENT doctor will help you and your child understand the operation and maintenance of these devices.
If your child has failed a hearing screening or you're noticing some of the symptoms we mentioned above, it's time to contact Children's Ear, Nose and Throat Associates in Maitland and Orlando, FL, to schedule an evaluation with one of our pediatric otolaryngologists.