Undetected or untreated hearing problem in children may negatively affect their speech and language. Therefore, in order to prevent impairment of speech and language and provide best possible surrounding to achieve academic and social success, hearing loss in kids must be prevented and treated properly.
Every 2 of 100 children under 18 years of age have some hearing impairment. Modern medicine is able to help most of little patients, whether through early diagnosis, fitting of hearing aids or with some special education programs for kids. With these measures, many children may successfully deal with their hearing loss, whether the problem is only transient or temporary condition. Hearing loss in kids is usually temporary problem and the common causes are middle ear infections and ear wax accumulated in the ear. Medical treatment and minor surgery are in most cases able to resolve the problem.
Sensorineural hearing loss or nerve deafness is permanent condition but these kids may hear something and wear hearing aids.
Doctors distinguish two types of hearing loss in children: problems present at childbirth (called congenital hearing problems) and loss of hearing which occurred after birth (acquired hearing loss).
Congenital Loss of Hearing in Kids
This hearing impairment is present in children from the day they were born. It could be caused by some infections during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasmosis or German measles, or by the use of certain drugs in pregnancy, known to cause toxic effects on the ears of the unborn child (ototoxicity). Family history of hearing loss, disorders of the brain or nervous system, as well as some genetic syndromes like, Down’s, Uhher’s or Waardenburg’s may all be responsible for congenital hearing loss.
There are also some birth complications which may lead to congenital loss of hearing, including severe infection of birth, especially CMV, toxoplasmosis, herpes or rubella infections. Neonatal intensive care, some drugs used for premature infants, blood transfusions in newborns, unusual appearance of baby’s head, face or ears and low birth weight can also cause loss of hearing at birth.
Acquired Deafness in Kids
Any middle ear infection which is not treated properly and some other infections, including, whooping cough, meningitis, measles and mumps may provoke acquired hearing loss in children. Serious head injuries, otosclerosis, Meniere’s disease or ototoxic drugs could lead to hearing impairment as well. Additional explanation for acquired deafness in kids involve: perforation of the eardrum and loud music or any excessive noise.