Hearing impairment can sometimes be hereditary. If hearing impairment is common in your family, it is important that you keep a close eye on your child for signs that he or she cannot hear properly. Here, you will learn the symptoms of hearing impairment in small children and the tests that are performed to confirm hearing impairment in children.
Symptoms of Hearing Impairment
Each day, you communicate with your little one and wait for him or her to respond. What should your child be doing to let you know that he or she can hear you?
- By the time your little one is 4 months old, he or she should respond to sounds in the room. If a dog barks, a door bangs, or voices are raised, your child should respond in some way. This could be a look, crying, or even squealing – anything that lets you know that he or she heard the noises in the room.
- Before your little one begins forming words, he or she should repeat the noises that you make. If the baby does not attempt to repeat the sounds you make, they may not be hearing the sounds.
- By the time your little one is 1 year old, he or she should be able to say short words, like mama, dada, or dog. If he or she cannot do this, it is likely that the words coming from your mouth each day are not being heard properly.
- As the years go by and your child grows older, you may notice that he or she constantly turns the television or music up louder than is necessary, may have articulation problems, or has constant earaches. These are all signs that there could be an impairment issue that must be addressed.
Tests for Hearing Impairment
Before you even leave the hospital when your baby is born, your child will be given a hearing test. From that point on, the pediatrician treating your child will monitor your child's behavior for signs of hearing impairment. If at any point the pediatrician thinks that there is a problem, further hearing tests are performed. These tests include:
- Very young children are tested using speakers set up throughout a room. Tones will be emitted through the speakers and the audiologist will watch for your child to turn his or her head toward the sounds.
- Older children wear headphones and the same tones are produced through the headphones. Your child will be directed to raise his or her hand to let the audiologist know which ear the sounds were emitted from.
Always talk with your child's doctor if you have any concerns about your child's hearing. Your doctor can answer any questions that you have and help you find the proper treatment for your child. They may recommend that you and your child visit a center like Abingdon Falls Plaza Hearing Center to learn about hearing aids.