Helping Children with Hearing Loss | Telethon Speech & Hearing

Hearing Loss in Children

Do you have concerns with your child’s hearing? Early detection is important

Althought newborn hearing screenings can detect hearing loss at birth, hearing loss can occur at any age.

Undiagnosed hearing and ear health problems can result in delays in communication, poor speech and language development, can have negative impacts on social relationships and in extreme cases, cause long-term damage to the ear and its functions.

This is why regular hearing checks are highly recommended for all ages.

Types of Hearing Loss

There are three types of hearing loss – conductive, sensorineural and mixed.

Conductive Hearing Loss

A conductive hearing loss is often temporary afflicting the outer and middle ear. It can be caused by the following:

  • Wax blockage
  • Fluid in the middle ear causing an ear infection or “glue ear
  • Foreign objects
  • Perforated ear drum
  • Irregularity with the middle ear bones

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

A sensorineural hearing loss involves the inner ear and is often due to the damage or absence of nerve cells in the cochlear which prohibits sound traveling from the middle ear to the brain. Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent and can be caused by the following:

  • Genetic trait or Syndrome
  • In utero infection or virus
  • Meningitis, mumps or measles
  • Head Injury

Mixed Hearing Loss

A mixed hearing loss involves components of both conductive and sensorineural loss. An example of a mixed hearing loss could be when a person has age-related hearing loss in combination with a middle ear infection.

Hearing loss can affect either one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral). For bilateral hearing loss, the severity and cause may differ.