FLEX AUDIOLOGY

Pediatric Audiology

Your Child’s Hearing Is Among Our Top Priorities

Hearing loss impacts 1.7 out of every 1,000 babies and 1.4 out of every 1,000 children still in development, according to CDC statistics.

The ability to communicate, connect, and interact with the world around them is a critical element in your child’s development. When their development is stymied, your peace of mind comes from knowing that your hearing care professional is both capable and dedicated to providing the best solutions.

Children are screened for hearing loss shortly after birth because hearing is a key element in speech and language development. However, these screenings do not always identify all the issues that can cause children to experience hearing loss.

The pediatric audiologists at Flex Audiology have evaluated hundreds of local children, earning the trust of local pediatricians, families, and schools. We provide a full spectrum of hearing healthcare services to children of all ages and work with families and schools to ensure that we are serving all the hearing care needs for each child.

Dr. Person, Audiologist performing a pediatric hearing assessment

I messaged Flex Audiology with some questions

about thoughts on surgery vs hearing aids for my child, after a previous surgery failed. She was very helpful giving me an idea of costs for hearing aids and was very quick in responding to my questions. If we choose to go the hearing aid route we will definitely look into purchasing from Flex Audiology.

Melanie W.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Children’s Hearing Loss

Children's hearing loss faq image

#1 - How do I know if my child is experiencing hearing loss?

Children’s hearing loss is usually diagnosed during the general testing and screening processes conducted at birth, but some hearing challenges show up in later development. Early signs that your child could be experiencing a problem include:

  • No reaction to loud noises
  • No response to your voice unless there is eye contact
  • Your child makes simple sounds that taper off
  • Rubbing or pulling on his or her ears
  • Ongoing crankiness without an apparent cause
  • Stops paying attention when you or someone talks to them
  • Frequent or ongoing lethargy
  • Doesn’t fully understand directions
  • Turns up the volume on the television or complains that it’s not loud enough
  • Fever along with ear pain

See a pediatric hearing professional if your child exhibits any or a combination of these signs.

#2 – What causes hearing loss in children?

The causes of hearing loss in children include:

  • Birth Defects. From genetics, prenatal issues like diabetes or pre-eclampsia, and premature birth.
  • Otitis Media. A middle ear infection due to inadequate formation of the Eustachian tubes, which causes fluid to build up behind the eardrum and become infected. Severe and ongoing otitis media left untreated can lead to permanent hearing loss.
  • Illness. Meningitis, encephalitis, measles, chickenpox, and the flu can lead to the development of hearing loss.
  • Injuries. Head injuries or exposure to very loud noise.<l/i>
  • Medications. Some ototoxic medications can lead to hearing loss.<l/i>

#3 – How is hearing loss treated in children?

Because hearing loss in children leads to language and other development challenges, doctors of audiology make an extra effort to diagnose and treat it as early as possible.

Medications to decrease fluid buildup, inflammation, and infection are often used to treat otitis media, but treatment often calls for the insertion of tubes to allow the fluid to drain, prevent infection, and avoid long-term, permanent damage.

Children as young as 1 month old can benefit from hearing aids when a hearing care professional is able to accurately diagnose and provide the right device. Cochlear implants (electronic devices placed in the inner ear to help stimulate hearing) are typically reserved for children with severe hearing loss who are not responding to other forms of treatment.

Training in alternative communication, such as lip-reading and sign language, begins as early as possible for children with severe hearing loss in order to limit the impact of hearing loss on their development.

#4 – How do I deal with my child’s hearing loss?

The fear and anxiety of parents who have children with hearing loss are common. Parents we’ve worked with have provided us with several tips that helped them to cope, including:

  • Seek out experienced parents who have found ways to deal with various struggles. In addition to providing plenty of advice, this provides your child access to other children with hearing challenges.
  • Hold onto dreams and ambitions. Hearing loss doesn’t mean that your child won’t be able to lead a happy, rewarding and successful life with the same opportunities as others.
  • Accept, love, and encourage your child. Focus on who your child is rather than their hearing challenges. This gives your child the confidence to be comfortable about taking part in everything life has to offer.
  • Empower your child to succeed. When you treat your child the same as those without hearing challenges, you prevent them from believing their condition makes them a lesser class of individuals or incapable of succeeding in life.

#5 – What does the future look like for my child with hearing loss?

Whether we hear well or not, the development of skills and social competencies depends on how we handle the successes and failures we encounter in life. Being overprotective of your child will make it more difficult for them to succeed.

Prepare your child to face the “real world” by setting a good example. Making fair demands that transform children into strong, independent, self-reliant adults, in spite of their hearing loss. Teach them to take responsibility for their hearing loss, whether it involves properly using and caring for their hearing devices or putting their best effort into learning and mastering alternative communication techniques.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

Early Detection Produces Best Results

Early detection of any type of hearing loss, but especially with children, provides audiologists with a broader range of options and a higher likelihood of success.

If you suspect that your child has a hearing problem, contact the pediatric professional at Flex Audiology for a thorough, comprehensive hearing assessment.

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With hearing loss impacting 1 in 5 of us, the data suggests that at least one special person in our lives are struggling with hearing loss. The challenge is that it's often difficult for these people to admit that they have a challenge with their hearing or be open to seeking help.

That's why we have developed a free white-paper to help you to understand the different ways that you can support a loved one and encourage them to get the help that they need.

Ask Dr. Person