At Valley Audiology, we believe early hearing loss diagnosis and intervention helps children develop and reach their full potential. We offer a unique setting with compassionate staff specifically designed to test and treat children of all ages. When hearing loss is identified, rehabilitation and counseling are available. Our center specializes in guiding families through this life-changing process.
Hearing Loss in Children
Roughly three out of 1,000 babies are born with hearing loss, and its prevalence is increasing in adolescents. With the advent of newborn hearing screenings, we can now identify congenital hearing loss within weeks of a child’s birth. If the newborn hearing screening indicates your baby may have hearing loss, it’s important to work with an audiologist to perform more comprehensive hearing tests. Delaying treatment can have a strong effect on a child’s learning and development.
Some main causes of hearing loss in children include congenital factors because of genetic issues, perinatal problems and premature birth; ear infections (otitis media) which can cause difficulty hearing; and in severe cases, may lead to permanent hearing loss, and acquired or progressive hearing loss.
What Are the Symptoms?
How can you tell if your child might have a hearing loss? There are several signs that should prompt you to have your child’s hearing tested. These include:
- A delay in speech and language
- Failure to respond to loud noises or your voice
- Poor academic performance
- Frequent ear infections
- Disorders or medical conditions associated with hearing loss (i.e., Down syndrome, chronic otitis media)
- Family history of hearing loss
Evaluation and Treatment services for Children
We firmly believe that communication is an integral part of your child’s growth and development, which is why we work hard to diagnose and treat a comprehensive list of hearing impairments in children. Tests conducted at each appointment are based on your child’s individual needs and we take into consideration a variety of factors, including your child’s developmental abilities, language and medical status.
Diagnostic audiology services offered at our clinic include:
- Behavioral assessment for children of all ages and development
- Otoacoustic emissions
- Middle ear measurements (tympanometry and acoustic reflexes)
- Newborn hearing screenings
- Auditory brainstem response assessment
- Cortical auditory evoked potentials
- Hearing aid evaluations
- Cochlear implant candidacy evaluations and mapping
- Case management and aural rehabilitation
There are many options for treating hearing loss in children, depending upon the type and severity of their condition. Every child is different, and the best treatment for one may not be the best for another.
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for children with hearing loss, but some children may need other devices such as cochlear implants to treat more severe degrees of hearing impairment. Our pediatric doctors of audiology have extensive experience working with children of all ages using evidence-based practices, so your child receives best outcome with their devices.
Pediatric Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are the most effective and common treatment option for many types of hearing loss, and they are extremely useful for both children and adults alike. Since children’s language and social skills have not fully developed as adults’ have, getting the highest quality of sound possible delivered to your child’s ear is a top priority.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs/FM Systems)
Along with your child’s hearing aids, there are a few important accessories and ALDs/FM systems that can improve language and learning. Children and adults alike commonly use classroom-specific hearing aid FM systems, as classes and lecture halls prove to be some of the hardest places to focus for those with hearing loss.
For older children who become more familiar with their hearing loss, wireless remote-control accessories and apps allow for precise hearing aid adjustments without having to touch the tiny and delicate controls on the hearing devices themselves. Other similar accessories can allow your child to wirelessly connect directly to important equipment like televisions, cell phones, computers and music players, which will help them relate more easily to their peers and family members.
Call Valley Audiology at (925) 676-8101 for more information or to schedule an appointment.