All parents fret about their children's health. Worrying about whether or not your child can hear properly is just another concern to add to an ever-growing list. Hearing problems are both congenital (present at birth) and acquired (occur after birth). While most worries regarding your child's hearing are unfounded, it's important to know the risk factors and the signs.
Things You'll Need
- Ringing telephone or similar sound
- Doctor's visit
Determine if your child was at risk for hearing problems at birth. Congenital hearing problems are more common if you contracted rubella (German measles) during pregnancy or if you have a family history of hearing problems. Also, premature babies, babies with low birth weight, and infants exposed to other infectious diseases like herpes are more likely to experience hearing issues.
Determine if your child is at an increased risk for acquired hearing problems. Repeated ear infections can lead to both temporary and permanent hearing loss, and they often go hand in hand with frequent environmental allergies. Certain infections like meningitis, scarlet fever and chicken pox can also lead to hearing problems.
Check for warning signs of hearing problems. Things like delayed speech or difficulty understanding speech, failure to notice sounds like a ringing telephone, disinterest in reading and lack of voice recognition may indicate difficulty hearing. Look for ability to follow simple verbal commands and also reaction to noises in your environment. Also, frequent ear-tugging may mean frequent ear infections. Pay attention on a day-to day-basis, and look for recurring patterns.
Visit your pediatrician and schedule a hearing test. If you have any doubts at all about your child's hearing, you should visit an expert. Your pediatrician can perform special tests to determine whether or not your concern is warranted.
Tips & Warnings
- If you have even a slight suspicion that your child has a hearing problem, seek a physician's advice immediately.
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