Many people associate hearing loss with aging. However, hearing problems in school children are widespread, and this issue deserves more attention. It is crucial to look out for signs of hearing loss in your school-aged child.
Main Causes of Hearing Problems in Schoolchildren
Children can be born with hearing issues, either because of hereditary factors or because of problems during pregnancy or birth. Hearing loss can also develop at any point during childhood.
Middle ear infections are particularly common among children. A child’s Eustachian tube is small and very sensitive to blockage. Thus, there’s a high risk of regular ear inflammation blocking and damaging the tube.
If your child is prone to ear infections, early treatment is the best way to avoid complications. Hearing loss can also come from some other common childhood illnesses, such as chicken pox or mumps. Injuries are another major cause.
It’s also important to keep in mind that exposure to noise is particularly dangerous to children. Parents should make sure to keep their children away from loud toys.
In a study that observed children ages 5 to 15, scientists found that 13.6% had some form of hearing loss. The study showed that girls and boys were equally at risk. Since the most common cause of hearing problems was a build-up of wax or discharge, the main conclusion of this study was that children needed to learn better ear hygiene.
Another study estimates that 14.9% of children in the U.S. have high-frequency or low-frequency hearing loss of at least 16 decibels hearing level. Less than 0.1% of children are completely deaf, and genetic factors frequently cause this.
Parents, teachers and medical professionals all need to understand the circumstances that can lead to hearing problems in schoolchildren. In many cases, starting treatment early enough can help prevent serious hearing deterioration.