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Disability Conditions we treat

Home Hearing Impaired

HEARING IMPAIRED 

WHAT IS HEARING IMPAIRMENT?

A hearing impairment is a hearing loss that prevents a child from totally receiving sounds through the ear. Hearing loss may be mild, moderate, severe or profound. It can affect one ear or both ears, and leads to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds.

  • Conductive hearing loss results from a problem with the outer or middle ear, including the ear canal, eardrum, or ossicles.
  • Sensorineural hearing loss results from damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or the auditory nerve.
  • Mixed hearing loss happens when someone has both conductive and sensorineural hearing problems.
  • Central hearing loss happens when the cochlea is working properly, but other parts of the brain are not.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

For a child, hearing and speech are essential tools of learning, playing and developing social skills.The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child.

Symptoms in babies-

  • Does not startle at loud noises.
  • Does not turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age.
  • Does not say single words, such as “dada” or “mama” by 1 year of age.
  • Turns head when he or she sees you but not if you only call out his or her name.
  • Seems to hear some sounds but not others.

Symptoms in older children-

  • Speech is delayed and not clear.
  • Does not follow directions.
  • Often asks you to repeat and speaks loudly.
  • Turns the TV volume up too high.

WHY IS HEARING IMPAIRMENT CAUSED?

Congenital causes of hearing impairment in children are-

  • Infections during pregnancy and birth complications
  • Genetic syndromes such as Usher’s, Down’s and Waardenburg’s syndrome.
  • Family history if hearing loss.

Acquired causes may lead to hearing loss at any age, such as-

  • Infectious diseases like meningitis, measles and mumps.
  • Untreated chronic ear infections
  • Serious injury to the head or ear.

WHO IS AT THE RISK?

Babies with one or more of these risk factors are more likely to have hearing loss.

  • Babies who need to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.
  • Babies who weighed less than 3 pounds at birth.
  • Babies who required a blood transfusion after birth.
  • Babies who required drugs to help them breathe after birth.
  • Unusual appearance of baby’s head, face, or ears.

HOW IS IT DIAGNOSED?

Early detection and intervention are crucial to minimizing the impact of hearing loss on a child’s development and educational achievements.  The type of tests used to diagnose hearing loss depends on the age of the child, but can include-

  • Objective tests, such as auditory brainstem response testing, which measure the electrical activity in the brain in response to a sound
  • Simple tests such as shaking a rattle nearby and observing the child’s response
  • Tests with an audiometer – a machine that produces sounds such as beeps and whistles
  • Physical exam

HOW IS IT MANAGED?

In infants and young children with hearing loss, early identification and management through infant hearing screening programmes can improve the linguistic and educational outcomes for the child. They can benefit from-

  • Hearing Aids and implants
  • Speech therapy
  • Alternative communication methods like American sign language, finger spelling, lip reading and written communication

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?

Babies and children should reach milestones in how they play, learn, communicate and act. A delay in any of these milestones could be a sign of hearing loss or other developmental problem. All babies should have a hearing screening no later than 1 month of age. Children should have their hearing tested before they enter school or any time there is a concern about the child’s hearing. 

WHERE CAN THEY BE TAKEN CARE OF?

At HCRA, our dedicated team works on the comprehensive alternate communication methods, speech therapy and the parents are also completely involved. We also get donors and sponsors for hearing aids and implants.

 






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