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We want them to hear the sweet sound of their own giggle.

Your child's hearing loss.

Hearing loss is unique.

Each child is unique, so is a child’s hearing loss. To help you understand the possible hearing solutions for your child, you should know how the ear works and how hearing loss is diagnosed with degrees and types of hearing loss. Your child's hearing loss doesn't have to get in the way of the ability to learn and live like other children.

How the ear works.

We hear with our brains, not our ears.

Sound enters through our ears but is processed and understood by the brain. Children with hearing loss have the same listening potential as children born with normal hearing. If they are given access to sound via technology and sufficient spoken language exposure, their brains can learn to listen too.

How hearing works illustration

  1. Outer Ear: Sounds enter the ear canal and travel to the eardrum.
  2. Middle Ear: These sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate, sending the bones in the middle ear into motion.
  3. Inner Ear: This motion is converted to electric impulses by tiny sensory hair cells inside the inner ear (cochlea).
  4. Hearing Nerve: These electric impulses are sent to the brain, where they are perceived by the listener as sound.

Understanding hearing milestones for children with normal hearing can be important for your child's hearing experience.
Click here to request a free resource guide to learn about hearing and speech milestones and more.

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Understanding signs of hearing loss.

Knowing if your child has hearing loss can be difficult, especially in infancy. Here are some typical signs:

Infant or toddler:

  • No reaction to loud sounds
  • Does not seek out or detect where sound is coming from
  • Has stopped babbling and experimenting with making sounds
  • Still babbles but has not progressed to more understandable speech
  • No reaction to voices even when being held

School-aged child:

  • Does not follow or understand simple commands
  • Is easily frustrated or has communication breakdowns
  • Is falling behind with speech and communication skills
  • Depends heavily on lip-reading
  • Is exhausted from constant concentration just to understand speech

Degrees of hearing loss.

  • Mild -- A child hears some speech.
  • Moderate -- A child hears almost no speech.
  • Severe -- A child hears no speech at a normal level.
  • Profound -- A child hears no speech at any level.

Degrees of hearing loss

Types of hearing loss.

One to six out of every 1,000 children in the United States may be born with a severe to profound hearing loss.1 These fall into three categories:

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is caused by a malfunctioning auditory nerve. This type of loss is permanent and caused by genetics, aging, disease, noise exposure or certain medications.

Conductive Hearing Loss

Sound cannot travel through the outer or middle ear because of malformation or other factors. This condition can be treatable depending on the cause.

Mixed Hearing Loss

This type of hearing loss is a combination of a conductive and a sensorineural hearing loss.

To learn more about bone conduction hearing solutions that could help your child with conductive or mixed hearing loss, click here Opens in new window

References
  1. The Prevalence and Incidence of Hearing Loss in Children. Available from: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Prevalence-and-incidence-of-Hearing-Loss-in-Children/
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