Types of Hearing Loss
There are two types of hearing loss in relation to the way the condition is acquired. The first one is congenital hearing loss and means that the hearing impairment is already present at the time of birth. It happens either due to genetic factors (causing over 50% of congenital hearing loss) or other circumstances occurring in utero or during birth. Acquired hearing loss is the second type, which is hearing impairment that occurs after birth and can be a result of various conditions, such as illnesses or injuries.
Risks and Causes
As we already established, a lot of congenital hearing loss cases occur due to genetic reasons. However, certain risks related to pregnancy and prenatal care are also factors that can cause hearing impairment. Amongst them are the following:
- The mother having a medical condition such as diabetes or preeclampsia while pregnant
- Premature birth
- Complications at birth, e.g., lack of oxygen
The signs of hearing loss can be unique in each child. Some symptoms may involve speech delays and difficulties in school, communication issues, behavioural issues, and inability to concentrate. In younger children or babies, lack of normal reaction to sounds might be a sign that hearing impairment is present.
According to data provided by the World Health Organization, almost 60% of hearing loss in children is due to preventable causes that can be avoided through public health measures implementation. Listed below are some of the prevention strategies you can adopt in order to prevent hearing loss in your child:
- Genetic counselling
- Reduction of loud noise exposure
- Early identification and treatment of common hearing-related conditions
- Mindful medicine use, thoughtful of preventing ototoxic hearing impairment
Use of Protective Equipment
Using ear protection products can go a long way in preventative care of hearing loss in children. Below are some of our favourite products that can help you reduce the possibility of hearing impairment occurring in your child:
1. Alpine Pluggies Kids
Suitable for ensuring protection during a variety of circumstances, including festivals, cinemas, swimming, showering, etc. In addition, they are perfect for improving concentration.
2. Children’s Flight Earplugs
Designed specifically for relieving children’s ears from the discomfort related to air pressure changes during flying. They prevent clogging and popping using the innovative CeramX filter which filters air pressure naturally.
3. Votones Wireless Headphones for Kids
Soft and comfortable, these headphones allow your child to enjoy listening to their favourite show or music while having their hearing protected at the same time. The maximum volume level the headphones allow is 85 dB- the standard safe volume for children.
What if Hearing Impairment is Already Present?
In case you are worried about hearing loss already having occurred in your child, early identification and diagnosis are of paramount importance. The following intervention depends on what type of hearing loss is present. Hearing loss due to infection of the middle ear can be reversed through medication or surgery. However, other types of hearing impairment cannot be reversed, but different strategies can be adopted in order to reduce their impact. These include language therapy, development of nonverbal communication methods, hearing assistive technology and hearing devices like hearing aids, cochlear or middle ear implants, etc.
Are you worried that your child might be experiencing hearing impairment? Book your free hearing test with us today! Our dedicated professionals will assist you with any questions that you might have and will help you to determine the appropriate next steps in order to ensure that you get all the benefits of early intervention.