Managing Your Child’s Hearing Loss as a Parent

While hearing loss is typically associated with older people, it can affect people of all ages. The most common cause of non-age-related hearing loss is wear and tear, which can affect children and adults alike. But there are plenty of reasons why your child might be experiencing hearing loss.

As a parent, the best way to manage your child’s health is to get to the bottom of it. Your first step should be to go to a doctor and look for causes of unexplained hearing loss. But what comes next?

Hearing Tests

Some children are born with impaired hearing or with no hearing at all. This can sometimes be identified in the womb if it’s due to a birth defect or developmental disorder, but you might not discover the hearing loss until your child is a little older. Other children might lose their hearing later in life, due to damage or an illness.

A hearing test is a vital part of your management strategy. The test is simple, non-invasive, and completely painless. Some children even find it a little fun. If your child or toddler is nervous, try to reassure them as much as possible. Hearing tests require the cooperation of the patient, which is why children need to be old enough to communicate and understand basic instructions.

During the test, your child will be in a soundproofed room. They will listen through headphones as the audiologist plays sounds and noises. Each time they hear anything, your child should push a button. 

The audiologist can then use the results to come up with a treatment and management plan. Hearing aids are a common treatment for moderate or severe hearing loss.

After the Appointment

Your child’s care doesn’t end with a hearing test. Audiologists understand the importance of ongoing hearing care, so it’s vital to have regular appointments to make sure your child is coping okay and to track any changes in their hearing.

Your general doctor might also be able to help you, especially if your child is prone to illnesses like ear infections or swimmer’s ear that can affect their hearing. 

Communication

While hearing aids are a great option, and cochlear implants can be helpful in many situations, some children benefit from learning other forms of communication. Sign language is a fantastic way for your child to communicate without any aids or implants, and it’s always beneficial to learn how to talk to other people.

It can also be helpful to get your child in touch with other people who have hearing loss or impairments. Some people have formed communities and even a culture, which can help your child deal with feelings of isolation.

Mental health is a serious concern for all children, but it can be particularly difficult when paired with hearing difficulties. Make sure that you talk to your child about their concerns and keep them in the loop as you continue to manage their health in the best way you can.

 

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