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Doctors sound the alarm. More and more children are having hearing problems. If it goes on like this, our children in adulthood will have the hearing of the old man. To prevent this from happening, take action.

Newborns born in state hospitals in the first 24 hours of life undergo ahearing screening . You can then detecthearing loss , examine the type of defect, and start treatment. But the trouble withhearingdoes not only concern children with birth defects. Fortunately, there are not many of these. Most come later. They mainly result from the lifestyle of the whole family and are also a consequence of diseases and injuries.

Untreated otitis can cause hearing loss

In a young child, the nose, throat and middle ear are right next to each other. Therefore, even an ordinary runny nose or an overgrowth of the third tonsil can initiate an ear infection. The worst part is that the ear with inflammation does not always hurt. If a child has a fever, complains of severe pain or tinnitus - this is not a problem. You go to the doctor with your baby, start treatment quickly and the disease disappears without a trace. Sometimes, however, otitis exudate develops without the usual symptoms. The child sleeps badly, is restless, and has impaired speech development. Parents usually do not associate these signals with otitis. It is only the fact that the child starts to hear worse due to the mucus secretion remaining in the ear. Then drug treatment usually does not help anymore. The ENT specialist must incise the eardrum and remove the secretions. You also need to put on drains - they will help to equalize the pressure on both sides of the membrane and remove the remnants of secretions. Hearing damage can also occur as a result of complications from infectious diseases, such as mumps.

According to an expertAnna Geremek, MD, PhD, otolaryngologist, specialist audiologist

Parents must be vigilant

Watch your children carefully. If you notice anything disturbing, let your pediatrician check his hearing. Make sure he always does this at a follow-up visit for an upper respiratory tract infection or an infectious disease. Many doctors have a portable hearing screener in their office. If he is not able to carry out such an examination himself, he will refer the child to an ENT specialist.
Parents often refuse to admit that they see anything in their childabnormalities. They wait up to 3 years for the boy to "talk" because the boys, allegedly, start talking later. Meanwhile, by believing in such myths, it is possible to disregard the impaired speech development resulting from hearing problems. Underestimating the fact that the child does not listen to us, explaining to himself that he is spoiled or simply naughty. We also do not react when she speaks loudly, because "all the children are shouting" or turns the TV louder and louder. Meanwhile, each of these behaviors may be a signal that the child's hearing is worse.

Inflammation of the ear can damage hearing

Toddlers often put beads, buttons, beans in their ears. When stuck in the ear canal, they may not produce any symptoms. However, they irritate the mucosa, causing ear inflammation, which over time even leads to permanent hearing damage. A seemingly innocent blow to the head can also result in an injury to the middle ear or irreversible changes in the inner ear. Often, at the beginning, such injuries do not give any disturbing symptoms. Only after some time does the child complain of earache or hear worse. When you see blood or other fluid in your ear, see a doctor immediately. If treatment is not started in time, a clot can form in the ear canal. This leads to inflammation of the ear and deterioration of hearing. To prevent head injuries, your child should use a bicycle, ski, rollerblades, and wear a helmet.

Noise can damage hearing

Already in the mother's belly, the toddler receives noises that affect the shaping of the inner ear. That is why it is so important for the child to listen to relaxing, quiet pop or classical music during this period. If, on the other hand, parents listen to loud rock, they can harm their child. For the ears of a newborn baby, the real torture is the loud-set TV or the raised voices of the parents. Then, the developing sense of hearing limits the field of hearing in order to protect the brain from over-stimulation. As a consequence, the child's hearing is worse. Calm, not too loud sounds are best for babies' ears. Therefore, instead of buying a loud toy, it is better to sing a lullaby, turn on a silent music box, gently shake the rattle. The child is exposed to screams in kindergarten and school, and from an early age he or she listens to loud music for hours through headphones (the ones that are put in the ear are especially harmful). Chronic acoustic trauma often occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to noise. As a result, the cells responsible for hearing become irritated or damaged. At the beginning, they may regenerate, but when injuries are repeated, they are permanently damaged over time and the toddler slowly loseshearing. Schoolchildren already have tinnitus, which may be a sign of hearing impairment. Hence, a doctor's consultation is necessary.


The test does not hurt

Hearing tests are painless and quite safe. They rely on a computer analysis of the hearing organ's response to a specific sound level and show how much hearing loss is. In toddlers, they are often done while sleeping. The point is that the measurements should be made stationary. When your toddler is 6 months old and is developing properly, you can judge his hearing by observing how he reacts to different sounds.

Genetic hearing impairment

Hereditary hearing impairment may appear at different ages. Suddenly, the baby starts to hear worse for no apparent reason. If the doctor does not find a defect in the structure of the hearing organ, a genetic test must be performed. Finding a gene responsible for a hearing impairment shows that the cause of hearing impairment is damage to the sensory cells. Medication and surgery won't help. In such a situation, the doctor may recommend a suitable hearing aid or implantation.

You must do it

When the consultation is needed

The following symptoms should make you visit an ENT specialist:

  • The baby often gets upper respiratory tract infections, has had several ear infections, has an inhalation allergy.
  • Has delayed speech development, dyslexia, difficulty concentrating or speaks loudly.
  • He doesn't react when you talk to him in a normal voice, walks close to the TV.
  • He brings worse grades, teachers complain that he does not pay attention in class, does not know what is being asked, does not listen to instructions.
  • Listens with one ear - always sticks his head to one side, where the voice comes from.
  • Complains of buzzing, ringing, whistling, whistling in ears.
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