Children and Hearing
Many children are born with hearing problems due to many possible reasons. Some of the most common causes of these problems are premature birth, increased bilirubin levels, genetics, ear infections, exposure to loud noises and many other problems. This is why these hearing difficulties need to be noticed as early as possible. Successful treatment may depend on a timely diagnosis of the problem. Luckily, there are many different hearing tests developed for children from newborns to toddlers and older children, capable of showing any hearing problems the child might have.
Possible Hearing Problems in Toddlers
A toddler may not speak, or can produce sounds which do not indicate the development of speech at all. Moreover, the child may not show signs of sound reception and may not react to you calling his/her name or asking questions. All these can be initial signs of hearing loss in your toddler.
There are many different tests which were developed for the purpose of child testing for hearing problems. These are the behavioral test, visual reinforcement audiometry, conditioned play audiometry, pure tone audiometry, typanometry and auditory brainstem response test.
The first test involves the reactions a child makes to specific types of sounds played in the testing room. The child is expected to react by changing the focus of his/her view, turning his/her head etc. On the other hand, conditioned play audiometry involves playing a game which required doing some action as soon as a child hears a certain sound. However, due to advanced instructions, this can only be performed with children older than 2 years of age.
Other tests performed usually require the child to wear earphones, being exposed to specific sounds. Their brain activity may be monitored, as well as many other things such as the response of their nerves. All these tests are monitored by trained professionals which know how to interpret every sign a child may show.
Sometimes children who have no hearing impairment may fail these tests due to the fact that their ear canals are clogged or they are suffering from an infection. This, of course, does not mean that they are deaf. On the contrary, this indicated that they will need to repeat the test after treating the cause of their hearing problem. Also, crying during the test or any lack of cooperation from the child may lead to failed results as well.
There are many of these tests available online. Thus, as soon as you start thinking your child has hearing issues, you can test him/her before seeking professional help. However, when you notice the symptoms, it is best to seek medical assistance since the doctor will examine your child thoroughly before moving on to the hearing tests.