As any number of online resources will tell you, hearing loss in children can be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes these issues can go unnoticed for months, even years, all the while making learning more difficult for the affected individual. Fortunately, sensory screening assessments such as vision and hearing screenings can help detect these issues early and get students the care they need. With the multitude of ways children can begin to develop hearing loss, it is no surprise so many schools are turning to online resources such as United Testing Service to find professional staff to conduct these tests. Here are three of the most common reasons for hearing loss in children:
- Genetic traits
According to a 1999 study by the University of Washington, there are upwards of 400 genetic syndromes discovered so far which can cause hearing loss. Some cause immediate hearing loss, while others gradually impair hearing abilities throughout the individual’s life. Children suffering from these conditions may not have had their hearing tested recently enough to detect impairment. Approximately two to three children per 1,000 have detectable congenital hearing loss in one or both ears. Regular school screenings help to ensure that these issues do not go undiagnosed.
- Exposure to loud noise
One loud concert most likely will not impair a child’s hearing for life. However, continued exposure to loud music and other sources of high decibel noise can gradually damage the sensitive cells inside the ear, leading to hearing loss more permanent in nature. A sensory screening at school can help determine if a child has a habit of turning their iPod up way too loud, putting themselves at risk for lifelong hearing impairment.
- Otitis media
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) pins otitis media as the single most common condition responsible for hearing loss in young children. The disease promotes the accumulation of fluid due to inflammation of the middle ear. This, in turn, compromises the transmission of sonic vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear, resulting in mild to moderate hearing impairment. While this hearing loss will almost always resolve with treatment, if a child has had an unnoticed and untreated case of otitis media, or suffers from the condition frequently, they can acquire long-term hearing difficulties.
Children should be focusing on the difficulty of the material they are learning in school, not difficulty hearing it. Hire sensory screenings for your district today.