Whether you are young or old, you may experience hearing loss. Noise is responsible for hearing loss in nearly 12 percent of kids from age 6 through 19 says the American Academy of Audiology. Hearing loss is also the number one most common type of birth defect in the U.S. According to the American Speech and Language Association, that number translates to around 12,000 kids each year who are born with hearing loss.

Some hearing loss in kids can be reversible.
– Hearing loss could be a temporary problem in some children resulting from issues such as ear wax occluding the middle ear, or ear infections. Medical treatment or minor surgery could be the solution to some hearing loss issues, but early intervention is vital. Ear infections left untreated could cause permanent hearing loss, so be sure to seek medical attention right away when there is a possibility of ear infections.

Kids with hearing impairment can benefit greatly from early diagnosis and treatment. – Early identification and assessment of hearing losses is vital. Due to earlier treatment, infants whose hearing loss was detected at age 6 months or younger proved to develop better language skills than kids whose hearing impairment wasn’t discovered until after 6 months of age.

Speech and reading skills may be adversely affected by hearing loss. – Children learn more about language from birth to 3 years of age than they do at any other time in life because during that time the brain is more receptive to learning language. Listening is the first experience required for normal speech development in young children. Good language skills are very important in order for a young child to learn how to read.

Some hearing loss can be prevented. – You may not realize that noise related hearing loss is very common and it can be avoided all together. Protect your kids’ ears with ear plugs and/or earmuffs and turn down the volume on the stereo, television, game systems and MP3 player to avoid noise related hearing loss in your children and teens.

Hearing loss signs and symptoms are often times initially observed by parents.
– Parents are many times the first to notice symptoms of hearing loss in infants such as: no reaction to noises made by toys or not making babbling sounds like normal infants. Around 9 months of age kids should be repeating back sounds and should also understand some simple phrases and commands. For a more in depth list of normal milestones for babies and young children to assess possible hearing loss, ask your hearing specialist or hearing instrument specialist. Be sure to find out about recommended screenings as well.