Hearing is something that we can all take for granted. But when it comes to our children, it is something that we do need to monitor. Being able to hear well can impact the cognitive and social development of children, so if there are any signs of hearing loss, it is important to not delay in getting them seen for a hearing test with an audiologist. If you aren’t looking out for the signs of hearing loss in children, then it can impact their ability to develop language skills and speech.
Many parents don’t know what to look out for when it comes to spotting the signs of hearing loss in children. There are some common warning signs that can get ignored and not flagged up as it isn’t seen as being important. If you are not sure what you should be looking for, then here are four signs that your child might need a hearing test.
Failing To React to Loud Background Noise
Right from being born, a baby not experiencing hearing loss can react to background noise, such as a dog barking, a door slamming or something being dropped on the floor. They may often jump or if asleep, wake up briefly. This is something that should be monitored, especially as they get older to be a toddler and young child. If they stop reacting to sudden and loud background noises, with no reaction at all, then it could be a sign that they need to have a hearing test, to monitor their hearing loss.
Not Responding to Their Name
As babies and toddlers grow, they will get used to hearing their name and will respond when called. If your child is experiencing hearing loss, then they may start to fail to respond when you call their name. This can be especially true if you are behind them, and they are not facing you directly. Often if you are in front of them, face to face, they will recognize your mouth moving as their name or can hear better when you are in front of them. If you call their name and there is no response, and there is no immediate thing distracting them, then this is an indicator that you should get them checked out at an audiologist with a hearing test.
Need to Have Things Loud Around Them
Some children just like to have loud music playing sometimes and listen loudly to the TV. However, if they struggle to hear when the TV is at a lower volume, for example, then it can be a sign that they are experiencing hearing loss. They may be able to hear at a certain volume, but if they can’t hear things at a lower volume, then it is important that their level of hearing loss is assessed. Of course, children shouldn’t be around sounds that are too loud anyway, so if they insist, then it can be a red flag that their hearing needs to be checked.
Little or No Speech
As children grow and develop, parents look forward to hearing their first words and the sounds that their children will make. If your child has little or no speech, particularly if it is delayed for a child of their age, then it could be an indicator that they need a hearing test to assess their level of hearing loss. It may be something else such as a learning difficulty, but it is best to get it checked with an audiologist to see if hearing loss is a factor.
How Hearing Is Tested in Children
There are a couple of methods that can be used by an audiologist to test hearing. What is used will depend on the age of the child, as well as their health and their overall development. There may be behavioral tests which is where an audiologist will watch how the child responds to speech that is played to them, at different volumes and intensities.
An audiologist can also check if a child is responding to sound through head movements and reactions with their eyes. All hearing tests will be different, depending on the age of the child. For example, a school-aged child could respond by putting their hand up, but a preschooler may need to move a toy if they hear a sound. There can also be some activities where they respond to speech and sound, by identifying pictures or having or repeating words back.
Get in Contact with Us for an Appointment Today
If you would like to speak to our team of audiologists to learn more, or to make an appointment, then get in contact with one of our team at The Hearing Doctors today. Give us a call at 630-752-9505; we look forward to helping you.