What is childhood hearing loss?

Hearing loss, or infantile hypoacusis, affects between 1 and 5 newborns out of every 1,000, and 80% of cases are present from birth, so early detection is essential.

From the age of 12 months, infant audiometries are carried out and are different from adult audiometries, because the former are carried out by means of games, photos, etc…

The first months of life

In a child’s early years, hearing is an essential aspect of a baby’s emotional, social and cognitive development. Even partial or mild hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to speak and understand language. Children have a very lively and alert nature, so even if a child reacts well to external sound, it does not mean that he or she hears everything around him or her clearly.

We should bear in mind that it is normal for a baby not to stir when sleeping or when the doorbell rings. If the child is very sleepy, he will sleep like a blessed child and it will be difficult for the sound to wake him up.

It should also be borne in mind that a cold or ear infection can temporarily affect a child’s hearing.

In a normalised environment, the baby should react naturally to loud sounds and, at the same time, react to the parents’ voice by turning its head or become calm if it is upset.

The following steps will help us in the first months of baby's life.

From 0 to 3 months. A loud clapping of the hands should elicit a reaction from the baby.

3 to 6 months. When his parents call his name, or he finds sounds around him, he should react with curiosity to see where the sound is.

From 6 to 10 months. It is evident that it is reacting to more and more stimuli, such as a hoover, a telephone or even the television.

From 10 to 15 months. Objects are familiar to him and he begins to point to them with his little finger. The child should be asked, in a normal voice, which object to point to and we will see that it is normal for him/her not to point to the objects we order him/her to point to. But if it does not point to any object, nor does it react to our voice, this could be a sign that it does not hear us.

If in doubt, it is always a good idea to visit our centre specialising in children’s audiology in Alicante, Calpe or Torrevieja, where our Hearing Aid Technicians will be happy to help you. Remember that early detection of childhood hearing loss is essential.

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