Early Signs of Hearing Loss in Small Children

Health & Medical Blog

As an adult, it's easy for you to notice and communicate when something is wrong with your body. Young children, however, might be confused by changes are they might not know how to say what is wrong with them. This is especially true with hearing loss. Early intervention can help you get to the bottom of hearing problems in children, so noticing the signs early can help. Here are some signs of hearing loss in children that you can look for. 

1. Lack of Simple Response

You might not expect a baby or toddler to respond to you all the time, but babies and toddlers are sensitive to sounds, especially to familiar voices. A baby who does not turn toward the sound of your voice or who has trouble with showing a different facial expression when they hear pleasant or unpleasant sounds should see an audiologist. 

2. Slowed speech development

Many children can struggle with learning new words, but when kids cannot hear well, they have an even more difficult time. If your child is having trouble speaking, they might not even have permanent ear trouble. Sometimes, ear problems like frequent infections or even wax production can cause sounds to be muffled or blocked. Get your child's ears checked if they are past a year old and still having trouble repeating or making new sounds. 

3. Reduced non-verbal communication

Children use gestures and hand signals to communicate when they are not able to speak. However, when they have limited hearing, these non-verbal communications could also go down. For example, if you say "Where's Daddy?" to a toddler, the toddler will point or look in that direction. When the toddler does not point but instead seems confused or doesn't answer, there's cause for concern. Your child should also start to show an ability to follow directions, such as "Come here!" or "Find your shoes," before they are able to speak. 

4. Sounds that are too similar

Babies and toddlers learn through hearing that different sounds communicate different meanings. This is why a child may cry differently when they are hurt as opposed to when they are hungry or tired. Sometimes, children with hearing impairment will not have this differentiation -- all of their sounds or crying may sound similar. They are capable of creating sound, but refining it takes proper hearing. 

For more information, contact a hearing clinic like Audiology Consultants, P.C.


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