Hearing loss in infants and toddlers

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Hearing loss is fairly common amongst children. Parents usually become overwhelmed with grief after their children are diagnosed with hearing ailments but medicine has evolved exponentially over time. There are treatments and therapies that are guaranteed to assuage various maladies. With little help and patience, these children can be equipped to face all kinds of challenges. 

However, there is no denying that hearing loss can affect a child’s speech, learning ability, and social skills. The ultimate panacea is to provide services from the earliest stage, helping the child to better cope with the environment. If you notice any signs of hearing loss, immediately alert your pediatrician. Do not keep it off for a later date. 

Hearing loss is usually caused by the malfunctioning of the acoustic nerves in the middle, outer or inner ear. The causes can be due to a multitude of reasons like Otitis media. Otitis media is an inflammation of the middle ear that is triggered upon the buildup of infected fluid.  The severity could vary depending on the condition. The milder form is an accumulation of a fine, clear, non-infected fluid that can cause slight disparities in hearing. The more extreme cases include recurring doses of infected fluid that could very well result in permanent hearing loss. 

Congenital causes refer to hearing loss that is present at the time of birth. It could be due to hereditary reasons or other contributing factors during pregnancy. Unfortunately, genetic factors make up for over 50% of hearing deficiencies. According to a national survey, around 15% of children experience hearing loss, especially in one ear, while graver cases of complete deafness are relatively less prevalent among children. 

Genetic factors are commonly associated with:

  • Premature birth or birth complications like toxoplasmosis, herpes, or blood transfusion. 
  • Administering drugs during childbirth is another risk factor. 
  • Congenital disorders 
  • Medications that are taken by the mother during pregnancy. These could be antibiotics for pain relief, side effects include damage to the auditory nerve of the fetus during developing stages. 
  • Infection during pregnancy. This could be diseases like Measles or cytomegalovirus.
  • Diabetes 
  • Smoking and drinking by the mother during pregnancy.

Audiologie Centre Ouest caters to proving evaluation tests for children in determining hearing loss. A series of techniques and exercises will be provided in the presence of the parents. The results are then conveyed to the parent along with a detailed report. 

 

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