Hearing Loss in Children
Hearing loss in children can be congenital (from birth) or late-onset (in later years). The causes range from genetic to acquired. In England, the newborn hearing screening programme is set up in a fail-safe way, so it is very difficult to miss a congenital hearing loss. Some places also offer children a school entry screen to identify late-onset hearing loss (at age five).
After childbirth, newborns undergo a newborn hearing test. Then at age five, in some areas, they undergo another test called the pre-school entry test. Between this five-year period and beyond, the onus is on parents to identify any potential signs of hearing loss and report to the GP or seek help from a private service like ours. Some children have excessive ear wax build-up which can cause a temporary hearing loss. If you think this is the case for your child you can book an appointment with our children ear wax removal service.
Signs of Hearing Loss in Children
Your child may have a hearing loss if they are always:
- speaking loudly
- experiencing speech delay or mispronouncing words
- asking people to repeat what they say
- asking for the TV or music to be turned up loud
- struggling to hear people far away
- easily distracted when people are talking
- tired and irritable because it’s harder to listen
Is your child experiencing any of these symptoms? Book them in for a comprehensive hearing assessment.
Children are not miniature adults. Children’s hearing tests require a particular skill set. Our private paediatric audiologists are highly qualified and skilled in detecting hearing loss in children. We explain your child’s hearing test results to you using jargon-free language to ensure you understand the details, implications for your child, and management options. If we detect a hearing loss, we can fit your child with hearing aids if suitable. We can also refer your child to an audio vestibular physician for aetiology (finding out the cause of the hearing loss). This is important because the more information we have on the hearing loss, the better we can manage your child’s hearing impairment.
Glue ear in Children
Glue ear is by far the most common cause of hearing loss in children that we see in our clinic daily. We know glue ear affects 8 in 10 children in the UK before they start primary school. It occurs when the middle ear becomes filled with sticky fluid. It is believed that this sticky fluid build-up is caused by an infected adenoid from coughs and colds. This infected adenoid then passes bacteria into the middle ear space causing inflammation and subsequently fluid build-up.
Most cases of glue ear are temporary and would resolve spontaneously. Glue ear can cause a hearing loss which in turn can affect your child’s speech and language development. As a parent, you may notice subtle signs of a hearing loss in your child such as
- a change in your child’s behaviour,
- fatigue (due to increased listening effort),
- a lack of concentration,
- preferring to play in isolation,
- not responding when called, and
- having the TV volume louder than others would prefer.
If you are concerned about your child’s hearing, we can perform diagnostic tests to check if your child has glue ear and if it has affected their hearing. Where necessary, we can also refer your child to an private ENT consultant with no waiting list.
Private Paediatric Audiology
We understand you would like answers about your child’s hearing as soon as today if possible. So, we have same-day appointments for children hearing tests. Book a test with one of our private paediatric audiologists today.
Hearing Aids for Kids | Hearing Aid Clinic
Fitting hearing aids for children requires a lot more skill and rigour than most people imagine. The audiologist acts as a gateway between your child and the world of sound (that’s profound, right?). The paediatric ear expert has to get these right for your children:
- Choice of colours to ensure the hearing aids amuse them.
- Regular technical measurements to optimise the hearing aids for enhanced speech reception in different environments.
- Ensuring they can hear their teacher well in a noisy classroom.
- Conversations with your child about how their hearing loss affects their social life. For instance, have they come of age where they would prefer an invisible hearing aid?
Children are not small adults, and you must consider their uniqueness when managing their hearing loss. Therefore, our private paediatric audiologists are the best choice if you are considering private hearing aids for your child. We offer the most holistic private hearing service for children in London. Hence, we are often referred to as the best hearing clinic in London.