Hearing loss is a sudden or slow decrease in how well your child can hear. Depending on the cause, it can be mild or severe, temporary 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 a problem there, in the brain, or in the nerves that allow your child to hear prevents proper hearing.
An ear infection may sometimes cause a temporary 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.
Hearing tests are used to check for hearing loss in children and babies. There are many types of hearing tests. They help determine what kind of hearing loss your child may have and how severe it is.
If your doctor thinks that your child has hearing loss, he or she will refer you to an audiologist for hearing tests.
If your child is not responding to voices or sounds as well as in the past, he or she may have hearing loss.
Some common symptoms of hearing loss include:
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 call line 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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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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