Being able to hear clearly is very important especially for growing children. Simply because this is what helps them develop their speech and language skills. Way back when doctors were only relying on manual hearing tests, hearing loss in children can only be detected until they reach two years old. Thanks to modern science, hearing loss can now be detected and intervened using hearing aids Melbourne even before the baby reaches 6 months.
Hearing Loss In Children, How Common Is It?
According to facts, 1.4 babies in every 1,000 have hearing loss and cases are diagnosed between 3 to 17 years old. Hearing loss is becoming a more common problem in youth because of the noise pollution in our environment. So in 2013, the CDC estimated that there is at least 12.5% of children and adolescents aging 6 to 19 are suffering from permanent hearing damage because of overexposure to extreme noise.
The Importance Of Hearing Loss Screening
The good thing these days is that hospitals are now routinely performing hearing screening on infants 21 to 48 hours after they are born. If the infant fails the initial screening, a second screening will be scheduled a few weeks later. However, doctors reveal that there are infants who pass the initial hearing test at birth but would still exhibit signs of hearing loss later on in life. This is why it is very important that if you notice that your child has hearing difficulty, go to your pediatrician as soon as possible.
Ways To Determine If Your Child Has Hearing Loss
Even at a young age, it is very important that you know how to determine the hearing of your child. One of the easiest is by monitoring their speech and hearing milestones. Here are some tips that can help.
- Birth to 4 Months. Your child should get startled at loud sounds, wake up or even stir when she or he hears loud noises. The baby should be able to respond to your voice either by smiling or cooing. While the baby is crying, he or she should be able to calm down upon hearing a familiar voice.
- 4 Months to 9 Months. By this time, your child should smile when being spoken to, notice the toys that make sound, and also make babbling noises. The baby should by now turn his or her head towards a familiar voice and understand simple hand motions like the ‘bye-bye’ wave.
- 9 to 15 Months. Your child should now be able to make different babbling sounds, repeat simple words, and also understand simple requests. The baby should know how to use his voice to get your attention and would respond when his name is called.
15 to 24 Months. At this age, your child should already know how to speak simple words and point to familiar body parts when asked. He should now be able to name common objects and listen to songs, rhymes, and even stories that interest him. The baby can now point at familiar objects that you name and also follow basic commands.
For this generation, treatment for hearing loss is accessible. Depending on the severity of the hearing loss, there are now different options like hearing aids and cochlear implants, as well as speech therapies and assistive listening devices used for treatment. Take a look back at the milestones that your child should have achieved by now. If you think your baby has hearing loss, do not hesitate to see your pediatrician.