What Are The Treatment Options For Hearing Loss
Early intervention and detection of hearing loss is crucial this will prevent your child from enduring additional problems with speech and language development. A healthcare team approach is normally used when a child is diagnosed with some degree of hearing loss. Some hearing problems are medically or surgically correctable. Other hearing problems are treated with hearing aids and speech and language therapy.
Hearing Loss At Birth
Congenital hearing loss means hearing loss that is present at birth. Causes of hearing loss in newborns include:
- infections, such as rubella or herpes simplex virus
- premature birth
- drug and alcohol use while pregnant
- jaundice and Rh factor problems
- maternal diabetes
- high blood pressure while pregnant, called preeclampsia
- the baby not having enough oxygen, called anoxia
Genetics is the cause of hearing loss in many babies. Genetic hearing loss can be present at birth or develop later in life. The genes that cause hearing loss can come from one or both parents. You both may hear fine but carry a gene that causes hearing loss in your baby. Or, one of you may have a hearing loss that you pass on to your baby.
Some babies have a genetic syndrome. Hearing loss may be a part of the syndrome. Examples include:
- Down syndrome
Causes Of Deafness Before Birth
Permanent deafness in children is most commonly caused by genetics, passed down in families, even though there appears to be no family history of deafness.
Some of the most common syndromes associated with hearing loss are:
- Alport syndrome
- Usher syndrome Type 1 and Type 2
- Waardenburg syndrome
For detailed information on these syndromes, visit Contact.
Deafness can also be caused by complications during pregnancy. Infections such as rubella, cytomegalovirus , toxoplasmosis and herpes can cause a child to be born deaf.
There are also a range of medicines, known as ototoxic drugs, which can damage a babys hearing system before birth.
Hearing can be affected by cleft palate or cleft lip and palate, which can occur on its own or be linked to one of the syndromes listed above.
Different types of deafness can be associated with microtia and atresia, depending on which part of the ear is not formed or working as it should.
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How Will I Know If My Child Has Trouble Hearing
My husband has had a hearing loss since he was a child. How will I know if our baby also has a hearing problem? Joyce
Hearing loss can run in families. Your baby’s doctor will monitor your little ones hearing closely. If there is a hearing problem, treatment should begin as soon as possible.
In most states, newborns get a hearing screening before going home. If it’s not done then, or a baby was born at home or a birthing center, it’s important to check their hearing within the first 3 weeks of life.
A baby who doesn’t pass a hearing screen doesn’t necessarily have a hearing loss. A repeat hearing test should be done by 3 months of age. If it confirms a hearing problem, doctors recommend starting treatment before 6 months.
Even newborns who pass their initial hearing screening should be watched for signs that they might not be hearing well. Children with hearing loss wont respond to sounds or their language development may be slow. Hearing milestones in the first year of life include:
- Most newborns startle or “jump” to sudden loud noises.
Children may be at higher risk for hearing loss if they:
- were born early
- got medicines that can lead to hearing loss
- had complications at birth
When Will We Get The Results
You’ll be given your baby’s hearing test results as soon as the test is done. If your baby has a clear response in both ears, they’re unlikely to have permanent hearing loss.
But the newborn hearing test does not pick up all types of permanent hearing loss. Children can also develop permanent hearing loss later on, so it’s important to check your child’s hearing as they grow up.
If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, tell your health visitor or GP.
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Treating Hearing Loss In Babies
After a thorough assessment, your hearing care provider will recommend treatment. For most infants with hearing loss, this will be a pediatric hearing aid. Yes, even babies as young as a few months can wear hearing aids.
Even babies just a few months old can wear hearing aids.
How Do You Know If Your Baby Has Hearing Loss
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all babies get screened for hearing loss before theyre 1 month old. Most babies get their hearing checked as part of newborn screening before they leave the hospital after birth. Newborn screening checks for serious but rare and mostly treatable health conditions at birth. It includes blood, hearing and heart screening.
If your baby doesnt pass her newborn hearing screening, it doesnt always mean she has hearing loss. But she needs a full hearing test as soon as possible before shes 3 months old. A full hearing test can help your babys health care provider diagnose hearing loss.
If your baby has hearing loss, getting treatment right away is important. Every state has an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention program that works to help children with hearing loss and their families. It can help with full hearing tests and other services for your baby. You can find your local EHDI program through the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management website.
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How We Care For Hearing Loss
Our clinicians in the Department of Otolaryngology and Communication Enhancement at Boston Children’s Hospital have extensive expertise evaluating and treating hearing loss. Our Hearing Disorders Clinic and Audiology Program offer comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluation and management of various degrees of hearing loss in infants, children and adolescents. We work closely with specialists in Boston Childrens Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, one of the largest, most comprehensive hearing-loss programs in the country, to provide comprehensive evaluation and consultative services for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Drug Delivery And Therapeutic Targets
Pharmacological treatment to enhance self-repair of hair cells and trans-differentiation of supporting cells will require high throughput, rapid screening systems to optimize rational drug design and the development of drug delivery systems for the cochlea. Studies have demonstrated the efficiency of zebra-fish models in drug design 131 and middle ear infused, gelatine-based hydrogels appear promising as a means to deliver drugs to the cochlea. 132 A novel intra-tympanic polymer gel delivery system has been evaluated and tested as a strategy for antiviral drug delivery in a guinea pig model 133 and holds promise for providing antiviral therapy to the CMV-infected cochlea while sparing the patient the substantial toxicities associated with systemic delivery of antiviral agents.
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Is It Possible To Have A Decrease Ore D Affect Hearing
There is a link between Vitamin D deficiency and hearing loss. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to weakened bones, making them less effective to absorb Vitamin D properly. We also have small bones in our bodies as well as other bones. Those suffering from these conditions, known as osteopenia, may lose part of their hearing.
More Information About Hearing Impairment
The following are some English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of these resources.
See the following sites for comprehensive information about updates on research and funding initiatives, educational materials, support services, and quick links to related topics:
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Do Babies With Hearing Loss Or Deafness Babble
Babbling is a normal stage of language development among babies. Babies with hearing loss tend to babble less, which can be an early warning sign they aren’t hearing well. When looking at 16 infants with profound hearing loss and 27 infants with typical hearing, researchers at the University of Missouri that found that babies with profound hearing loss rarely make the repetitive vowel sounds, da-da, ma-ma and ga-ga, for example, that are common among babies without hearing loss.
The good news, however, is that the MU researchers found that once the infants received cochlear implants they began babbling with the same frequency as typically hearing infants within just a few months. Cochlear implants are small electronic devices embedded behind the ear that serve to replace some functions of the impaired inner ear. Researchers noted that not only was there an increase in vocalizations with repetitive syllables, but that the number of repetitions in the string also increased.
General Categories Of Causes:
Genetic hearing loss can be present at birth or can develop later in life. An infant can inherit hearing loss from one or both parents, as the gene can be carried even if both parents hear at average levels. The hearing loss may be part of another genetic syndrome, such as Down syndrome, Usher syndrome, or Treacher Collins syndrome. Gene mutations can also cause one of two different kinds of hearing loss syndromic where the hearing loss happens along with other health problems, or non-syndromic where the hearing loss is the only condition the baby has and is more common. Congenital hearing loss is when a baby is born with hearing loss, but genetics can also cause hearing loss as infants get older as well.
Events during pregnancy
Viruses and infections can be passed to babies while in the womb. Some of the viruses and infections that can cause hearing loss include cytomegalovirus, herpes, measles, rubella, syphilis, and toxoplasmosis. Symptoms like body aches, headache, fatigue, fever, coughs, and rashes can be associated with these, so pregnant women should always reach out to their doctor with any health concerns during pregnancy.
Hearing problems can also be caused by the way the ears, head, or face develop in the womb. If the shape or structure of the babys ears is different, it can affect their hearing. Regular checkups and ultrasounds during pregnancy can monitor the babys development to track possible changes in development.
Events after birth
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What Are The Different Types Of Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is the most common cause of hearing loss in infants and young children. It happens when something is blocking the outer or middle ear and preventing sound waves from reaching the inner ear. While some children are born with conductive hearing loss, most often, conductive hearing loss is caused by an ear infection, which is often possible to reverse with ear tubes, medicine or surgery.
Sensorineural hearing loss is a problem with the inner ear or transmission of sound signals to the brain. Some children are born with this type of hearing loss but for many children, sensorineural hearing loss develops over time. Sensorineural hearing loss is almost always permanent. A hearing aid or cochlear implant can help children with sensorineural hearing loss detect sound. If their hearing loss is profound or severe, the child may learn to communicate using one of these technologies along with sign language, lip reading and gestures.
Auditory Processing Disorder In Kids With Normal Hearing
Some kids may pass traditional hearing tests, but still struggle to listen and understand speech, particularly in noisy environments. They may ask you to repeat what you’ve said a lot, and struggle to differentiate similar sounding words. If this sounds like your child, it’s important to talk to your doctor, as it could be auditory processing disorder. This means the ears can detect sound adequately, but the brain struggles to interpret the sound correctly.
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Treatments And Intervention Services
No single treatment or intervention is the answer for every person or family. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way. There are many different types of communication options for children with hearing loss and for their families. Some of these options include:
- Learning other ways to communicate, such as sign language
- Technology to help with communication, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants
- Medicine and surgery to correct some types of hearing loss
- Family support services
Newborn Screening And Follow
Newborn hearing screening uses earbuds that are connected to a special device to check your babys hearing while your baby is calm and in a quiet room. The hearing screening is not painful, and many babies sleep through the few minutes needed to do the screening.
There are two ways to screen a newborn for hearing status. Your baby may have one or both screens. One screen uses a small earbud and microphone to check for echoes in response to sound made in your babys ear . Another screen uses earphones and stickers with sensors to see how your babys brain responds to sound . Your baby will get either a Pass result or a Fail result.
In hearing screening an out-of-range screening result is called a Fail result. If your babys hearing screening gives a Fail result, the person doing the hearing screen will let you know right after the screen. Together, you will discuss next steps and follow-up plans.
Some babies who have typical hearing may have a Fail hearing screening result, this is usually because they still have fluid or other buildup in their ears. A Fail result means that your baby needs more follow-up screening and possible testing.
Your baby may need the following tests after a Fail hearing screening result:
- Another hearing screen
- A more complete, full hearing test
- Genetic testing using a blood sample to look for genetic causes of hearing loss
- Testing for infections at birth that can cause hearing loss
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Hearing Tests For Kids
Once a child is school-aged, he or she can usually sit still, remain quiet and raise a hand in response to speech and tone stimuli in the sound booth. At this point, the child can easily wear headphones for ear-specific measurements and sit still for tympanometry and acoustic reflex tests, similar to adult hearing tests.
Key Points About Hearing Loss In Babies And Children
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What Causes Hearing Loss
Were not sure what causes all forms of hearing loss. Possible causes include:
Genes. Genes are parts of your bodys cells that store instructions for the way your body grows and works. Genes are passed from parents to children. Genes may play a role in about half of the cases of hearing loss in babies and children. If you or your partner has a family history of hearing loss, you may want to talk with a genetic counselor before getting pregnant. This is a person who is trained to help you understand about how genes, birth defects and other medical conditions run in families, and how they can affect your health and your babys health.
Sometimes the instructions in genes change. This is called a gene change or a mutation. Gene changes can cause two kinds of hearing loss:
Premature birth or low birthweight. Premature birth is birth that happens too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Premature babies often have more health problems at birth and later in life than babies born full term. Low birthweight is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces. Learn more about things you can do to help reduce your risk for premature birth.
Infections your baby has after birth. Infections that can cause hearing loss include:
How Can You Prevent Hearing Loss In Your Baby
Some types of hearing loss, like hearing loss caused by gene changes, cant be prevented. But you can help prevent hearing loss related to other causes, like infections and premature birth. Heres what you can do:
- Get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy to help make sure youre healthy when you get pregnant.
- Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Talk to your provider about vaccinations you need before you get pregnant. For example, you may need the MMR vaccination that protects you from measles and rubella.
- Get checked for infections, like STIs. Early testing and treatment can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Go to all of your prenatal care checkups. Prenatal care is medical care during pregnancy. At each prenatal care visit, your health care provider checks on you and your growing baby. Getting early and regular prenatal care can help you have a healthy pregnancy. Go to all your checkups, even if youre feeling fine.
Protect yourself from infections. Heres what you can do:
Take your baby to all his well-baby checkups. At these checkups, your babys provider checks your babys overall health, growth and development. Your baby also gets vaccinations to help protect her from harmful infections.
Get early treatment for ear infections. If you think your baby has an ear infection, call his provider right away. Signs and symptoms of ear infection include:
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