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Hearing loss is a sudden or slow decrease in how well your child can hear. Depending on the cause, it can range from mild to profound. It can be short-term or permanent. Congenital hearing loss means your child is born with hearing problems.
In conductive hearing loss, sound is blocked before it reaches the inner ear. In sensorineural hearing loss, sound reaches the inner ear. But hearing is prevented by a problem in the inner ear, in the nerves that allow your child to hear, or in the brain. Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both.
An ear infection may sometimes cause a short-term or reversible hearing loss. The infection blocks sound from passing through the ear canal or middle ear to the inner ear. This is one kind of conductive hearing loss.
Some hearing problems can delay your child's speech and language development. Early screening for hearing loss can help prevent speech and language problems.
If your child is not responding to voices or sounds as well as in the past, your child may have hearing loss.
Some common symptoms of hearing loss include:
Learn how to know if your baby or child can hear you.
Hearing tests are used to check for hearing loss in children and babies. There are many types of hearing tests. They help find out what kind of hearing loss your child may have. They also can show how severe it is. Your doctor may refer you to an audiologist for the hearing tests. In some areas, you don’t need your doctor to make a referral and you can call to make the appointment for hearing tests yourself.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Adaptation Date: 8/25/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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