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Hearing Loss Symptoms In Children | The Most 12 Important Ones.

Teach-babies-sign-langugeThe Symptoms You Should Know

Children’s Actions Relating To Hearing Loss


Here is a list of general warning signs regarding children. As a parent suspecting a hearing issue, please be very noticeable and aware of these signs:

  • The child seems to respond inconsistently to sound, sometimes hearing and sometimes not.
  • The child intently watches the speakers face.
  • The child often says “What?” when spoken to.
  • The child exhibits behaviors that seem to favor one ear, such as tilting the head to the left or right when listening.
  • There is a history of hearing in the family.
  • The child’s mother had rubella (German measles) during pregnancy.
  • There is a history of blood incompatibility or difficulty in pregnancy.
  • There child has had frequent high fevers.
  • The child has a history of chronic ear infections.
  • The child frequently complains of hurting ears.
  • The child seems to respond better to low – or high – pitched sounds.
  • There is a change in how loudly or how much the child babbles or talks.

If you suspect a hearing loss, examine the child’s speech and language development. The speech of children who have a hearing loss may sound different or less clear because they will be imitating a distorted signal.

Teaching-baby to-sign
Young child suffering from hearing loss.

Many children have had a hearing impairment since birth and have therefore not heard speech and language of the same quality as that experienced by children with normal hearing.

As a result, their language acquisition is an ongoing, effort-filled sequence instead of a gradual, easy, natural process.

Consider the scores of times small children hear a word before they can learn to actually say it.

Children with an impairment do not hear as many words in their surroundings as easily, and consequently they may build a vocabulary at a much slower pace.

Improving the vocabulary of children with hearing loss is so important. Also expanding children’s hearing opportunities is a big ‘Plus’.

Their words may also be  missing word endings (e.g., s, ing), and short words (e.g., the, is, it) may be missing from their speech. The children’s written work may also reflect their inability to hear.

These specific age-related behaviors can signal a hearing loss in infants and toddlers:

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BEFORE SIX MONTHS:

  • The child DOESN’T startle in some way, such as a blink of the eyes or a jerk of the body or a change of activity in response to sudden, loud sounds.
  • The child DOESN’T initiate sounds such as cooing or babbling.
  • The child shows NO RESPONSE to noise-making toys.
  • The child DOESN’T respond to or is not soothed by the sound of his or her’s mother’s voice.

BY SIX MONTHS: 

  • The child DOESN’T search for sounds by shifting eyes or turning the head from side to side.

BY TEN MONTHS:

  • The child DOESN’T show some kind of response to his or her name.
  • He or she REDUCES their amount of vocal behaviors, such as babbling.

BY TWELVE MONTHS:

  • The child shows NO RESPONSE to common household sounds, such as pots banging, running water, or footsteps from behind.
  • The child yells when imitating sounds.
  • The child DOESN’T respond to someone’s voice by turning his or her head or body in all directions to search for the source.

BY FIFTEEN MONTHS:

  • The child ISN’T beginning to imitate many sounds or ISN’T attempting to say simple words.
  • In order to get the child’s attention, you consistently have to raise your voice.

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What to do if your child or yourself seem to have some loss of hearing?

If you suspect that your child has a hearing loss or if you feel that sounds are not as loud as you need them to be, or that speech is muffled, it is a good idea to first have your family physician check for wax in the ear canalsinfection, or a treatable disease.

Teaching-sign-language-to-babies
Child listening carefully for sound wave.

If the problem can be treated medically or surgically, pursue that treatment.

If this is not possible, or if after treatment you or your child still has some difficulty hearing, investigate hearing help with the role of an audiologist

To begin, ask your physician for a signed statement or form called a “medical clearance” saying that the hearing loss has been medically evaluated and that you or your child may be considered a candidate for different type hearing aids.

This form is required by law before a hearing aid dispenser can provide you with a hearing aid. (Adults over eighteen may sign a waiver of this regulation, but for your best hearing health you should obtain a medical check-up instead.)

Then arrange for a hearing test to determine how much hearing loss there is.

Get a complete hearing evaluation from a licensed audiologist who is a Fellow in the American Academy of Audiology (FAAA) and/or one with a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A) issued by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).

Do not confuse the FAAA or CCC-A certification with the description used by many hearing aid dealers of “Board Certified,” which is granted by the National Hearing Aid Society (NHAS). NHAS is a trade association of hearing and dealers.

Audiologist can measure hearing ability and identify the degree of loss. They can design and direct a rehabilitation program, recommend and fit the most appropriate hearing aids, and measure the hearing improvement from the use of hearing aids.

They will provide guidance and training on how to use the new hearing aids and recommend the use of other assistant technology, if it’s appropriate. They can also teach speech reading.

They can help you and your child to find solutions that reduce the effects of hearing loss by working with your spouse, family, employer, teacher, caregiver, or other medical specialist.

In addition, audiologists evaluate balance, vertigo and dizziness disorders.

If a hearing aid is recommended, be certain to arrange for a trial of at least thirty days through a facility that assist you and your child in becoming oriented to the new experience of hearing with amplification.

Remember, it is a learning experience that does require time, practice, and patience.

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If you find the information in this post interesting & useful, please share it with your friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.

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When you buy something from this website, I may receive an affiliate commission.
These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products.
My reviews are based on my personal experience and research. I never recommend poor quality products, or create false reviews to make sales.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 3, 2017 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

I consider myself one of the most hardest working, helpful guy in regards to online marketing. Earned my Associate Degree in 2000. majoring in mortuary science and hearing loss in children and adults.

14 comments on “Hearing Loss Symptoms In Children | The Most 12 Important Ones.”

  • Dear Ronald,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful post. I got great insights from your post.

    This post means a lot to me and the timing of this post is amazing. By GODS grace my wife gave birth to a boy baby on 2nd of March 2019 and the doctor asked us to take the child for hearing test after 15 days. I felt nervous and afraid and did some research, tried to check the baby’s hearing capacity on my own just by talking and making noise.

    Although the baby is responding to the noise as you said by turning his head and watching on the direction, a medical report will give a big relief. Last Monday we taken the baby for hearing test and by GODS grace everything is fine. 

    In your post you not only discussed the challenge and the symptoms but also provided with the solution which is very helpful. This post is a must read for every parents.

    Great information, you have really given a lot of value here.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Thank you Paul. I’m so glad you found some value in my article. The hearing health in children is something all parents should take note of. Every parent wants a healthy child. When discouraging news comes back after a doctor report regarding the child’s hearing health, it can be devastating! Thank God in your case Paul, all was good! Please share my post with your social media community. 

  • This is such an important article to me. I’m so glad you could share and also make it very easy to understand and no complications. My friend’s son went through some of these things and she had no idea that there was something wrong until 10 months old, when I was visiting and brought her attention to it.

    I wish I had read this article before then, I would have had the knowledge on how to help. I love kids, so anything that concerns them is usually of utmost interest and importance to me. Now I know how to identify hearing loss symptoms in children with12 of the most important ones.

    • Hey Vapz, I commend you for being alert enough to point out these things to your friend. No telling how long the problems would have continued with the child. Sometimes, parents are not observant enough and don’t recognize serious issues their child may be going through. Then again, they may notice something different, but don’t take it seriously. Please share this article with others.

  • Thanks for writing out this lovely article and I must say its a must for every parents  to read and digest.I once have a neighbor experiencing this symptoms on her kid. I should before the kids could hear me. But I  call her mum notice to go for medical check up concerning her kid. The kid is now hearing clearly. this article made me to understand the causes of this problem and the solution to it. Your article  is very educative and informative. Thanks for the insight. 

    Best regards

    • Thanks for checking in my friend. Sounds like your neighbor’s kid problem was recognized and addressed. When hearing loss is recognized in a child, it should be checked out immediately. Most hearing issues are caused by bacteria, which in turn, brings on a infection that can be cured with antibiotics. It’s good to hear, this child is getting along ok with improved hearing.

  • Thanks for this informative post,  I currently have a friend who’s partially deaf from birth  and has this bothering him amongst his friends, when talking to him you have to stand in front of him for him to hear you and this has been my major concern for him, what can be done in his situation ?

    • Seun, your friend needs a hearing aid, if you have to stand directly in front of him. Why has he not gone in to see an ENT specialist? The doctor can determine the degree of hearing loss through a series of test. If medical insurance is an issue, financial aid is offered in some states. Sounds like an hearing aid is what he most definitely needs right now.  

  • Hello, this is perhaps unrelated to your topic. I currently teach kids in my community, and there’s a girl who doesn’t seem to hear and speak as well as others. I’ve advised her parents to take her to a clinic, but they’re insisting she’s a slow learner that’s why her speech is slurred. Do you think it has something to do with hearing loss? Can it be a treatable infection? Hoping to hear your feedback soon.

    • Thank you Louis for checking with me. When overprotective parents insist on doing their own evaluations, this only hurts the child in question. It could possibly be a treatable bacteria which caused middle ear infection. Then an antibiotic should be prescribed. Problems start when fluid builds up in the air-filled space behind the eardrum, which is known as otitis media with effusion.

      This build up can reduce the mobility of the eardrum and middle ear bone, leading to the child’s hearing issues. But I strongly recommend the child be taken to an ENT specialist for an hearing evaluation. Only then will a professional determination be made. Please share this information.

  • Hi Ronald

    I have a child with glue ear and it’s affected his speech and language tremendously. The problem was noticed when he was 18 months old but because of the long waiting list here where I live (I live in Ireland), it wasn’t diagnosed until he was 3 years old. It then took a further 2 and a half years before he had his first set of grommets inserted.

    He’s now almost 7 years old and has just had a second set put in but his speech and language are still pretty bad to the point where he’s had to attend a special school because of it. Believe it or not, there are actually areas here in Ireland where the waiting list to see an ENT specialist are over 4 years long. It’s shocking and glue ear should be a pretty treatable issue.

    • Hi Jessie. Thanks for checking in. I’m very surprised to hear the waiting list to see an ENT specialist is 4 years. There should be a change in health policies in regards to childrens health. It makes no sense! If time had allowed, your son’s problem could have been corrected. 

      But glue ear’s one of medicine’s great mysteries – docs don’t yet know exactly what triggers it, but they do know it’s related to the eustachian tube, through which fluid normally drains away from the middle ear. Depending on the shape of the child’s eustachian tube will determine how effective the inserted grommets will be.

      When this stops functioning properly, fluid builds up, causing glue ear. Over time, this build-up of fluid prevents the eardrum from working like it should. I guess you’ve done all you could. At this stage, all you can do is continue with speech therapist, in the hopes things will continue improving. Good luck to you.

  • My mother in law is currently deaf to normal sounds.If you want her to hear you, you have to speak extremely loudly to her. When she was little, she had a high fever.

    She lived in the countryside so the doctors there didn’t do a very good job and she ended up the way she is now. I agree that these kinds of things should be detected early, and making buy some kind of hearing aid for children.

    It’s nice to learn about these symptoms. In the future, if anything I would know to detect them ahead of time.

    • Hi Bill. How are you? Thanks for checking in with me. In regards to your mother-in-law, as a child, her hearing loss may be caused by a defect of the outer or middle ear, but more often the damage exists in the inner ear (cochlea). … Some illnesses which may cause hearing loss include meningitis, encephalitis, mumps, and jaundice. Any disease which is accompanied by a high fever may cause hearing loss in a child. She experienced this early in life. 

      Also, it would help tremendously to have a good ear specialist to diagnose issues before they get too serious. Pass this article along, maybe it will help others.  

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