Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest Post: Hearing Loss Basics

This article was submitted to me by new blogger John O'Connor from Blogging With John O.  Like me, John has a desire to spread the word about hearing loss and related issues.  We hope you learn something new from it!

In the United States, two to three children in every 1000 suffer hearing loss or are completely deaf. Unfortunately, some hearing loss in small children is not recognized until the child is already behind in language.  Early intervention is necessary to help parents take the necessary steps to prevent delays in language development.

What Precautions Can Be Taken to Prevent Hearing Loss In Children?  

All 50 states offer a newborn hearing screening, Early detection is crucial, and along with early intervention, children can learn to listen and speak without getting behind in language skills.

What are the Causes of Childhood Hearing Loss?
Otitis Media

  This condition can lead to permanent hearing loss if left untreated. Otitis media is a middle ear infection that often occurs in underdeveloped Eustachian tubes common in developing children. With this type of infection, the fluid builds behind the eardrum and becomes infected. If the fluid remains there for a prolonged period of time, it can impair hearing.

Acquired Hearing Loss

Certain illnesses can cause hearing loss in children. These conditions include: encephalitis, meningitis, measles, influenza, head injuries, chickenpox, genetic hearing loss, very loud noises and certain medications.

 Congenital Factors

Some children who are afflicted with hearing loss from childbirth may experience loss because of genetics or because of prenatal complications. More than half of children’s congenital hearing problems are due to genetics. Children’s hearing loss can also occur when the mother has diabetes or toxemia during pregnancy. Hearing loss is also more common in children born prematurely.

How to Notice Hearing Loss in Children

  •           Children Do Not React to Loud Noises
  •           Children Do Not Respond to a Mother’s Voice
  •           Children Pull or Rub Ears
  •           Children Are Irritable for No Apparent Reason
  •           Children Do Not Understand/Follow Directions
  •           Child is not reaching early language milestones 
  •           Child Has Ear Pain accompanied by a Fever

How to Treat Childhood Hearing Loss


A pediatrician may prescribe antibiotics to alleviate the symptoms associated with ear infections and hearing loss.

Hearing Aids

Children with hearing loss can begin wearing hearing aids as early as one month old.

 Ear Tubes

A child may need ear tubes to drain the fluid from the eardrum and prevent infection. Children may require an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist for this procedure.


Children may require cochlear implants or electronic devices to help with hearing. These devices should be used only after hearing aids have been found ineffective.


  1. There are many different causes of hearing loss, some of which cause immediate degradation of a person's ability to hear, while others are more gradual. Knowing the causes of hearing loss can help you keep your hearing and maintain optimal ear health.

  2. I have learned a lot form this post. Most cases of hearing loss are acquired from accidents and due to the environment.

  3. More and more teens are being diagnosed from noise-induced hearing loss. (Think i-pods and such) Acquired hearing loss is most typically due to age or noise-induced. But most cases of hearing loss in general are still congenital - meaning that they were born with it.