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According to statistics from the National Institutes of Health, out of every one thousand children in the U.S., 2 to 3 are born deaf or with impaired hearing. As childhood progresses, hearing loss may arise from injury, disease, very loud noises, or structural abnormalities in the structure of the ear. Early hearing screenings are important to detect hearing loss, because the sooner it is found, the greater the child’s chances to develop their full potential.

Luckily, the most common signs of hearing loss in children are well documented for parents and caregivers to look for. When your child is still a baby, such signs include a failure to be startled by loud noises, a failure to turn the head to face you when you call his or her name, being able to hear some sounds and not others, and not turning toward the source of a sound after the age of 6 months.

Otitis media will often cause children to complain of ear pain, but other signs to look for are pulling at or rubbing the ears, failing to understand instructions or increasing the TV volume. Watch how your child interacts with others. Notice if they say “what?” or “huh?” frequently. Also note if they seem to watch the face of the speaker very carefully. Hearing loss is a serious concern. Even mild hearing loss can lead to delays in language and speech development and manifest in poor school performance.

These problems are why many states have programs that guarantee early hearing testing in children. The tests are painless, and can be performed even on babies. Children are never too young to have their hearing tested, because the sooner hearing problems are identified, the sooner they can be corrected. So give us a call. We’d be happy to schedule a hearing screening for your child or children and to help if any hearing problems are found.