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There are several signs that your child may have trouble hearing. These signs may vary from child to child. If your child cannot hear all words spoken to them, he may have hearing problems. Children may stare at you or use an “outside voice” when you talk. It is because they may not be able to hear your voice.

Signs of deafness

Hearing loss can be a common childhood affliction affecting language development, learning, and overall development. It can also be a side effect of certain diseases or ear infections. You can spot deafness by paying attention to your child’s language development and vocabulary. You can also check their attention span or if they are often daydreaming. If your child has a hearing problem, it is best to get it checked by a paediatrician as soon as possible.

Signs of deafness in children can be hard to detect at a young age, but it’s never too early to start worrying. You can request a hearing screening as soon as your child is six months old. During the next six months, your child should begin showing signs of hearing loss, and you should make an appointment to see a paediatrician.

A child with a hearing loss may need hearing aids, speech therapy, and assistive listening devices. Your paediatrician may refer your child to a paediatric audiologist for testing and treatment. In some cases, the audiologist will recommend further tests to diagnose the cause of the hearing loss. You better check audihearing.com.au/hearing-services/childrens-hearing-test/ to help you with this.

Behavioural audiometry

Behavioural audiometry is a procedure that measures the sounds your child hears. It helps you find out if your child has difficulty hearing sounds in a specific range. The test uses earphones that send a series of sounds through your child’s ear. The audiologist will watch how the child reacts to each sound. The results of this test will be written on a chart.

Behavioural audiometry is often conducted in a sound booth with the child and parent. The audiologist plays different sounds to the child, from soft to loud. These sounds can be speech, music, or specific frequencies important for hearing speech. The audiologist then records the child’s reaction to these sounds and plots them onto an audiogram. During this test, behavioural observations are made, such as the child widening their eyes or mouth when the sound is loud.

Otoacoustic emissions

An Otoacoustic Emissions test is an excellent way to determine if your child has hearing problems. This simple test is done with a tiny probe inserted into the baby’s ear canal. It will measure the amount of sound your child can hear and how well their cochlea works. The results can be used to decide if they need to receive treatment.

The tests are non-invasive and performed while the child is asleep. The tests are also called evoked response tests (EARs), which involve sending sound through the middle and outer ear to the cochlea, which is responsible for hearing. The response is then measured using a microphone placed in the ear canal.

Genetics

There are many ways to tell if your child has trouble hearing, including a physical exam. Genetic testing can also help determine if a genetic change causes the child’s hearing loss. The test usually looks for changes in a small blood sample. The results can take up to three weeks to come back. The examination can reveal various information, including if the child is likely to develop hearing loss in the future, the progression of the hearing loss, and whether the condition will recur.

Early detection

Early detection is critical in the treatment of hearing problems in children. Studies show that one or two newborns out of every thousand have a hearing impairment, and the sooner these problems are detected, the sooner the appropriate treatment can begin. 

In developed countries, infant hearing screening has become a successful secondary prevention strategy to diagnose and treat permanent hearing loss in children. Objective hearing tests are safe, reliable, and suitable for newborns and are typically non-invasive and easily administered by primary health care workers. In developing countries, however, adverse health conditions often limit newborn screening.

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