Whether you are young or old, you may experience hearing loss. According to experts at the Academy of Audiology, nearly 12% of younger kids from age 6 through the teen years have hearing loss resulting from noise. The birth defect occurring most frequently in our country is hearing loss. According to the American Speech and Language Association, that number translates to around 12,000 kids each year who are born with hearing loss.

Not every type of hearing loss is permanent.
– Not all hearing loss is the result of a long term permanent defect. Minor conditions such as a build up of earwax or an infection could cause reversible hearing loss. Early intervention such as minor surgery or medical treatment could reverse temporary hearing loss in some instances. Chronic (long term) ear infections could cause permanent hearing loss so be sure you seek professional help early on if ear infections are suspected.

Early intervention can improve language skills in children with hearing loss. – The earlier in life that hearing losses are identified, the more likely the child is to develop fully normal language skills. Studies have shown that infants whose hearing loss is detected after 6 months of age did comparably worse on language skill development compared to infants where the loss was detected and treated before 6 months.

Hearing loss could delay language development. – Language development in the brain of children is at its highest level between age 0 and 3. Hearing is vital to normal speech development because this process begins in young children with the ability to listen. In order for children to learn proper reading skills, they must first develop good language skills.

Not all hearing loss is permanent. – It may be surprising to note that noise related hearing loss is 100 percent avoidable. 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.
– Many times parents are the first to recognize signs of hearing loss in infants and small children. Response to your voice, noticing noises that toys make (such as rattles), and making babbling sounds are all signs to observe for to ensure infants have normal hearing. When babies are nine months or older you should notice that they understand and respond to basic requests and mimic sounds and noises made by others. Be sure to ask your hearing specialist or audiologist for a more conclusive list of signs and symptoms to watch for, as well as his/her recommendation on when your child should have a professional hearing screening.