Hearing Problems in Children Deafness & Hearing Loss Guide

It can be very difficult to determine if a child under the age of 19 months has a problem with their hearing because very young children and babies will respond to their environment by touch more than sound. Listed below are a number of questions of signs that you should watch out for in your child and ask yourself if they apply to your child. If you answer no to any of them then it might be wise to visit your doctor or mention to your health visitor that you think there may be a problem with your child’s hearing.

From birth to 4 months of age

At this stage your baby should:

* Be startled when they hear a sudden loud noise such as a shout, hand clap or dog barking nearby?

* When asleep does your baby wake up at the sound of loud noises?

* If your baby is crying does he/she stop crying if they hear your voice while you’re still out of site, or quieten down if you play music?

* By the time your baby is around 4 months old he/she should be turning their head towards sounds they hear.

4 to 8 months of age

At this stage your baby should:

* Does your babies eyes widen at the sound of a voice or loud noise?

* Does your baby notice sounds that are outside of the peripheral vision?

* Does your baby enjoy a sound mobile, rattle or any other toy which makes noises?

* Around the age of 6 months your baby should be gurgling or babbling back to people who speak to them.

* Around the age of 6 months your baby should be making different sounds when babbling.

8 to 12 months of age

At this stage your baby should:

* Your baby should be responding to soft noises and turning their head towards them.

* Your baby should be able to respond to their own name.

* Their voice should alter in pitch when babbling.

* Your baby should be adding constants to their babbling, such as m, b, p and g.

* Your baby should respond to music by bouncing and jigging up and down.

* Your baby should understand the word no.

Of course every child develops at a different pace and the above is only a very rough guide, your child may respond earlier or a little later to any of the above but it is usually around the ages stated above. If you suspect that your child may have problems with their hearing then consult your doctor or health care visitor.

Hearing loss overview

Deafness & hearing loss guide

There are four main types of hearing loss; conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, central hearing loss and mixed hearing loss. Hearing loss and deafness can affect anyone at any age with some people being born deaf while for others hearing loss is a gradual or sudden occurrence depending on the circumstances which brought about the deafness or hearing loss. Deafness or hearing loss can also occur for many different reasons ranging from ear infections to trauma of the ear drum.

Conductive hearing loss

Conductive hearing loss is usually associated with obstructions to the outer or middle ear and can also be caused by certain diseases, this type of hearing loss will affect all frequencies and the loss usually isn’t severe. The person suffering from conductive hearing loss will usually be able to be helped surgically or has great success when using a hearing aid.

Sensorineural hearing loss

This type of hearing loss is usually brought about by damage to the sensory hair cells or nerves of the inner ear, hearing loss due to this will normally be more profound than conductive hearing loss and it usually affects only certain frequencies. Even when wearing a hearing aid the person affected by sensorineural hearing loss may still have great difficulty in hearing certain sounds.

Central hearing loss

This type of hearing loss is usually done by damaging the nerves of the central nervous system; this can be either in the brain itself or the pathways leading to the brain.

Mixed hearing loss

This type of hearing loss is a combination of conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss, this means that the person can suffer from problems relating to both the middle and outer ear as well as the inner ear.

What can be done to help those hard of hearing?

There are many things that can be done to help the hard of hearing, people who have been hard of hearing or deaf for a number of years will usually have learnt to lip read or even sign. They may also wear a hearing aid to help them hear more clearly and there are several steps a person can take to make life easier for them.

* Always make sure the person knows when you are going to speak by facing them.

* Make sure you talk in good lighting conditions.

* Try to have your conversation away from distractions, such as heavy traffic or loud background noise.

* Don’t mumble or use a lot of slang words.

* Speak in a clear voice but don’t shout at the person.

* Remember that just because the person cant hear it doesn’t affect their intellectual capacity.

For hearing-impaired children, the mode of communication used in the classroom varies according to the children’s ages and needs. Although a mainly oral approach is used, and effective listening skills encouraged, lipreading and gestural support are provided. We are doing all efforts with the disabled to join them to the mainstream without any help from any sector of the society. And we are looking for a positive support.