Hearing loss is not something that is widely talked about or widely discussed. Approximately 15% of American adults over the age of 18 report that they experience problems hearing things in either one or both ears. Sometimes these problems arise after childhood, but chances are there were issues or problems during their childhood years that might have been overlooked. Parents don’t overlook simple small signs that their child may have a hearing problem on purpose though, it could easily be brushed off as something else such as stubbornness or distractions. Knowing specific signs to look for in children can help parents notice these issues and address them an ENT for children before the problem gets worse. Below we will explore some of these commonly overlooked signs of hearing problems in children.
Any parent that has had a newborn knows that there is a phase when they get startled at noises. Sometimes even slight noises will startle them, it doesn’t always have to be a loud noise. Once your baby is around the age of three months, they should successfully recognize the voice of their mother, father and other people that are around them on a regular basis. If you find that your infant is still startled by your voice or the voice of someone else they should be used to by now then it may be time to talk to your child’s doctor about a recommendation to a pediatric ENT specialist.
Sounds and Words
There are certain milestones that children reach and while there is some wiggle room for these milestones you should still see your child progressing more and more towards them. If you notice, by the time your child is close to one year of age, that you child is not mimicking noises and sounds or starting to say simple words such as “mama” or “dada” then it might be time to talk to your child’s doctor to see if they can perform a series of hearing tests. This test will help ensure that your child is hearing okay and there are no issues with their ears.
Babies have a habit of turning their heads when they hear noises, especially noises that they are used to such as the voice of the mother or father. Parents should pay close attention to the movement of their child’s head. If you notice that your child is constantly turning their head one way and never the other then that could be a sign that their other ear is not working properly. If they are having a problem hearing out of one ear they will not favor that ear, but will favor the other ear that hears well. If you notice that your child shows these signs it would be a good time to discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor so they can schedule some hearing evaluations to further address any issues.
Many parents will notice if their child abnormally starts talking louder than normal as this can sometimes signal an ear infection. It’s well known that children talk louder when they aren’t able to hear how loud they are. Some parents, however, don’t ever take this into consideration when their child has always been loud. Some parents may assume that they just have an overactive or extra loud child, but there could be an underlying issue that only an ENT for children can diagnose. If they test hearing capabilities and discover an issue, they can start early treatment that could possibly remedy the issue or direct the parents to the proper medical professionals for treatment.
No parent ever wants to hear that something is wrong with their child, but a diagnosis from an ENT for children is not the end of the world. A specialized ENT for children is there to help your child and help you as the parent. There are huge advancements that have been made to help children who have problems hearing hear better and an ENT for children can share these advancements with you. Keeping an eye on these common signs can help you spot problems early and begin treatment as soon as possible.