Preparing well-balanced meals, ensuring your child gets enough exercise, and scheduling routine medical exams are important steps for your child's health and wellness. Unfortunately, certain conditions may arise that can affect their daily life. While shocking to learn, an estimated 15 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 19 have significant hearing loss. In most cases, preventing hearing loss is not possible, but proper understanding of the causes is beneficial. With this guide, you will understand a few common causes of hearing loss in kids.
Congenital Birth Defects
Babies born with congenital birth defects may also have a form of hearing loss. These birth defects may develop while you are pregnant, affecting your baby's development. If you suffered with toxemia, certain infections, or diabetes, your baby is at risk of developing these birth defects.
Smoking, drinking alcohol, and using drugs can also cause congenital birth defects that will lead to hearing impairment and other developmental issues.
Chronic Ear Infections
Ear infections are common medical issues that affect your child at some point in time. Most parents are surprised to learn 5 out of 6 children will have one or more of these infections by the time they turn 3 years of age.
Ear infections cause inflammation in and around the ear canal. This inflammation is painful, but it also causes the tissues to swell and close up. Constant swelling due to chronic ear infections will prevent the ear canal from draining wax and other fluids properly. This buildup of fluid will reduce your child's ability to hear.
Without treating the ear infection, your child may lose their hearing permanently. Be sure to consult your child's doctor if they develop ear infections repeatedly. Surgically placing tubes may be necessary to improve the ear canal's drainage.
Other Health Concerns
The flu, measles, chicken pox, the mumps, and meningitis are also medical conditions that can reduce your child's ability to hear. These health concerns do not necessarily affect the ear, but they do affect the brain and its ability to communicate with the body's sense systems.
Lastly, if your child has experienced trauma to the head, such as an accident or concussion, they may lose their hearing. Many children with concussions experience short bouts of hearing loss after their injury. However, testing by an audiologist is essential to determine if the hearing loss will be permanent.
With proper diagnosis and management, such as hearing aids, your child can live with hearing loss. This guide and the help of an audiologist will give you a better understanding of these different causes of hearing loss.