Book Online

Child Hearing Loss

Early Detection and Management of Hearing Loss in Children

A child’s ability to hear is the most essential factor in their early language development. Even mild hearing loss in children can lead to attention and language issues in adulthood. For this reason, early detection of hearing loss is of utmost importance to ensure optimal linguistic skills later in life.

Parents can use several methods to detect early signs of hearing loss. Toddlers between the ages of 1-3 may show symptoms of mumbling or incorrect pronunciation of words. A lack of attention when being asked for something, or inappropriate head turning to various sound cues can also be indicative of hearing loss in one or both ears.

It is important for parents to keep track of their toddler’s vocabulary. Children around the age of two years old should be able to speak at least 25 words. If your child is speaking below this threshold, it is highly advised to consult an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor to make sure there is no hearing loss or chronic ear infection as it can be one of the most common reasons for speech delay.

Hearing loss can be attributed to a variety of factors. Amongst the most common problems are cases of ear infections of the middle ear. There are two types of middle ear infections which can cause hearing loss: Acute otitis media and chronic otitis media.

Acute otitis media occurs abruptly and may include other symptoms such as fevers, cough, ear pain, and signs of upper respiratory infection. This differs from the chronic otitis media, which can be more progressive and inconspicuous.

Children with chronic otitis media suffer from an effusion behind their eardrum which has not drained naturally and has remained there for over 3 months. They do not usually exhibit fevers or sickness, but may have a history of allergies, mouth breathing, or a chronically runny nose.

Children with chronic otitis media may not complain about their hearing loss. It often feels like an ”underwater sensation”. Due to this muffled volume,  children with chronic otitis media are at risk of developing speech delay, attention issues, and lack of pronunciation throughout their development and adolescent years.

The less common ear infection in children is an outer ear infection (otitis externa), which can typically cause acute drainage, inflammation, and pain. Outer ear infections typically occur during water play. A common cause of otitis externa is overexposure to bathtub, pool, or ocean water.

If your child has a history of multiple ear infections, especially with a history of draining ears,  it may be important to have them checked by a pediatrician or Ear Nose and Throat doctor to make sure there is no permanent eardrum perforation. An ear drum perforation may lead to Long term hearing loss and can be surgically corrected by an Ear Nose and Throat doctor through a simple outpatient operation.

A more rare but significant cause of hearing loss in children can be attributed to genetics. Children who are most at risk are ones that have a family history of early onset hearing loss as well as any other medical issues, including premature birth or extended hospitalization in the neonatal ICU immediately after birth. Any abnormal newborn hearing screening should also be immediately investigated by an otolaryngologist.

Luckily, with the help of medical advancements, there are simple ways of assessing and treating hearing loss in children, even if the child is not able to speak yet. Therefore, parents should have a low threshold to consult an ear doctor if there are any concerns regarding their child’s hearing. 


Your request is submitted successfully.
We will reach out to you soon!



Sorry! We were unable to process your
request. Please try again!