Pediatric Hearing Loss & School-Aged Children

Numerous misconceptions about hearing loss often contribute to a delay in treatment. A common myth is that hearing loss only impacts older adults.

While aging is one cause of hearing loss, other causes affect people of all ages, including children. For example, pediatric hearing loss refers to impaired hearing that children experience. 

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 3 of every 1,000 children in the U.S. are born with detectable hearing loss in one or both ears. Also, 15% of children and young teens, ages 6-19, have some degree of hearing loss. Pediatric hearing loss can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. Hearing loss in children can cause speech and developmental delays. This highlights the importance of intervening early by seeking treatment integral to healthy development. 


What causes pediatric hearing loss?

Children can experience the two dominant types of hearing loss, which are conductive and sensorineural. These types of hearing loss have different causes and treatment options.

Signs of Pediatric Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a medical condition that reduces the capacity to hear and process speech and sound. This produces a range of symptoms, including the following:
Recognizing signs of hearing loss is essential so you can intervene as early as possible.
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Diagnosing and Treating Pediatric Hearing Loss

There are a few ways that pediatric hearing loss is diagnosed. The diagnostic tools that are used depend on the child's age and can include the following:
  • Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA) assesses hearing among infants as young as six months. This involves playing sounds and seeing if the infant turns their head toward the sound.
  • For toddlers and preschoolers: hearing healthcare providers may use a strategy referred to as play audiometry. This turns the hearing test into a game where the child is asked to perform a task when they hear a sound (clap your hand when you hear the sound, for example).
  • Older kids: similar to adult hearing tests, school-aged kids can have their hearing tested by responding to sounds played through their headphones. They are asked to indicate which sounds they can hear as this information is collected.

Treatment will depend on the type and degree of hearing loss present.

Treatment options may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, assistive listening devices, and speech therapy.
Treating hearing loss offers countless benefits, including strengthening hearing and supporting your child’s development.
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We have offices in Steamboat Springs, Craig and Frisco, Colorado providing hearing exams as well as hearing aids and repairs.
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