About Hearing Loss in Children
Many factors can impact your children’s hearing. Congenital hearing loss can be caused by genetic disorders and birth complications, while acquired hearing loss (which occurs after birth) can be caused by factors such as untreated ear infections, a perforated eardrum and exposure to loud noise. We recommend routine hearing tests to detect hearing loss in your children.
Hearing Milestones for Children
Birth to 5 Years Old
The first few months and years of our lives are spent building the foundation for everything we will learn as we grow. Hearing is an integral part of learning process. This is why early diagnosis and intervention of hearing loss in children is so important.
If you are concerned that your child is not meeting the expected milestones, contact your family doctor or schedule an appointment with our audiologist. Please note that a physician’s referral is not required to make an appointment with our audiologist.
ABR tests are used for infants, very young children, and those with developmental disorders, who can’t always acknowledge when they hear tones during a routine hearing test. Various sensors are placed on a child to detect the brain’s physiological response to hearing a sound, determining the softest sounds a child can hear without requiring them to respond. We’re proud to be one of the few audiology clinics in Toronto that routinely performs ABRs.
We’re Happy to Answer All Your Questions
If your child has passed their newborn hearing screening, a routine test should be done before entering school. If your child is not meeting speech and language milestones, a hearing test should be conducted sooner. If they don’t pass their screening at birth, that’s when we recommend a comprehensive hearing test, which includes an ABR test, as soon as possible. Ideally, hearing tests should be conducted every 3 to 5 years. If hearing loss is present, we recommend more frequent testing, usually once a year. If you notice any sudden changes in your child’s talking or listening, you should schedule an appointment immediately.
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss are different for each child. For babies, signs include not being startled at loud noises or turning to the sound source, not babbling long or short groups of sounds, and not saying their first word by one year of age. For young children, delayed, limited or unclear speech, frequently inattentive listening, difficulty learning and failing to respond to conversation-level speech are signs to notice. We can help determine if hearing loss is a factor in causing these behaviors in your children.
Ensure your child avoids putting any objects in their ear, such as a cotton swab, and keep them away from loud noises or ensure they wear hearing protection. Routine hearing tests at our clinic are crucial to identify any hearing loss.