Hearing loss isn’t just a problem that affects older individuals. According to the National Institutes of Health, 2 to 3 of every 1,000 children are born deaf or with some degree of reduced hearing. Children can experience hearing loss due to genetic factors, due to a middle ear infection known as otitis media, or it may be triggered by injury, very loud noises, specific medications, and illnesses such as chickenpox and measles. Early hearing screenings are important to detect hearing loss, because the sooner it is found, the greater the child’s chances to develop their full potential.

As a parent, there are many signs of hearing problems that you should be watchful for. In babies, such signs include the child failing to be startled by loud noises, turning his or her head when he sees you but not when you call his or her name, not turning toward the source of a sound after the age of 6 months, or seeming to hear some sounds, but not others.

Children with otitis media may also pull or rub at their ears, become listless or inattentive, have fevers, complain of ear pain, often do not understand instructions, and may ask for the TV to be played louder. Watch how your child interacts with others. Notice if they say “what?” or “huh?” frequently. Also note if they seem to watch the face of the speaker very carefully. Hearing loss is a serious concern. Even mild hearing loss can lead to delays in language and speech development and manifest in poor school performance.

To aid in early detection, many states have mandatory early hearing screenings. These are painless tests often performed at the hospital after birth or in public schools. Children are never too young to have their hearing tested, because the sooner hearing problems are identified, the sooner they can be corrected. We would be happy to arrange for a hearing screening for your child or children, and if any hearing problems are found, we have the expertise and resources to help solve them.