Hearing Problems: How to Recognize Them

Identifying and treating hearing problems in a timely manner is essential, since the integral development of the child will depend on it, both in their daily life and in their school environment. The Journal of the American Medical Association published scientific studies that found that only 11% of parents were able to recognize that their children had hearing or auditory processing problems.

Already after three months of gestation, in the womb, the baby has its hearing system developed and is capable of perceiving sounds, muffled, of course, by the amniotic fluid and the mother’s tissues; Therefore those loving gestures of talking to your baby by parents can be perceived by them, as well as very loud noises or the gentle music that is placed in the environment.

Arrived in the world, parents must make sure that their baby undergoes a hearing test to be sure that everything is fine and if it is not done in those first days, it should not go beyond the month of birth until having this medical check.

However, attention to auditory pathologies should not end with having the medical proof at birth that the baby does not suffer from hearing loss, since in some cases the problems manifest as time passes, as a progressive disorder, which can be the result of injuries due to diseases or be a unilateral deafness (only in one of the ears), which can go unnoticed in the first years and become more forceful when entering school age.

Signs that all is well in your child’s ear

Outside the womb, the baby inaugurates the sound with his own cry and with the welcoming words of doctors and parents and begins to perceive the world around him through his senses. From her early days, she reacts to loud and surprising sounds or shows her surprise at them and even turns to look in the direction of a noise as well.

From two to four months, she improves her auditory response, and she recognizes nuances of sounds with different tones and intensities. She identifies the voices of her parents and she can babble consonant sounds like M, S, P and some vowels, also stimulated by what she hears from the adults around her.

Between five and six months he can already make sounds that resemble known words and in eight to nine months, he begins to understand the meaning of “no”, he must turn his head towards familiar sounds and be attracted to musical toys, which in turn they will help you develop this sense.

Near their first birthday, the party of simple words begins and babies can already say simple words like water, bread, mom, dad, even if they are not quite well pronounced. This language development is possible because they capture sounds and begin to imitate them through speech, thereby also attracting the attention of the elderly and obtaining objects and the desired attention. From the year and a half to two years, the child must express himself with a more varied vocabulary, make sentences of up to two words, while from the third he is able to have a vocabulary of 500 words and compose longer sentences.

After the first year and in his first stage as a schoolboy, teachers can also alert parents about the possibility of a hearing deficit, if the child has a very limited language, does not pay attention, is withdrawn or rather very hyperactive, wait to have other children carry out an activity and then do it himself and does not participate actively in group games.

In turn, as the problem of patients with unilateral hearing loss (in one ear) can go unnoticed, parents and teachers must be attentive if the child directs only one ear towards the sound source, it has a complication to answer if it is He talks to him from behind, shows greater fatigue at the end of his classes, has difficulty distinguishing where certain sounds are coming from, and requires combining what he hears with lip reading, among other signs.

Causes and Risk Factors of Hearing Problems

The first antecedent to take into account is genetics, since if there are deafness problems in the family, it is necessary to do an exhaustive monitoring of the baby from its first days of birth, in order to rule out that this pattern is going to repeat, that it could lead to congenital hearing loss.

Non-genetic causes include illness or trauma before or during childbirth (up to 80 percent of congenital deafness originates in this period); infections during pregnancy such as cytomegalovirus, rubella, and herpes simplex virus; premature birth, maternal diabetes, drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy.

Acquired hearing loss can develop both in the early stages of the baby’s life, as well as at another time in his life and can sometimes be permanent or occasional, in this second case as a result of otitis that resolves medically. Events such as severe head trauma, frequent ear infections, perforated eardrum, infections and viruses such as meningitis, encephalitis, chickenpox and measles, exposure to loud noises for a long time can lead to serious hearing problems.

Parents should promptly address situations such as external otitis, which does not cause great hearing loss; otitis media-acute, which does cause hearing loss and so-called serous otitis, in which there is mucus inside the child’s ear, which can also lead to hearing loss.

What to do if your child suffers from hearing loss?

Hearing disorders often lead to language, emotional and educational problems, so their treatment must be comprehensively addressed. The pediatrician or specialist in the face of any alarm signal or diseases that may compromise hearing health, will order the necessary tests to be carried out to rule out or check anomalies, and once with the results, be able to draw up an action plan.

The good news is that today there are treatments and tools that can help your child successfully cope with hearing loss, such as speech and hearing therapy, hearing aids, and even a surgical procedure called a cochlear implant. The important thing is that you go as soon as possible to have an evaluation of your child, if you have doubts about the correct functioning of his hearing.

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