Impact of untreated hearing loss in children
The earlier your child is tested, diagnosed and treated for any hearing loss, the greater their chances of realising their personal best.
How hearing loss can affect your child
Regardless of culture or country, children with untreated hearing loss are likely to experience delayed language, speech development, communication and even cognitive skills. This in turn is linked to isolation, low self-esteem, learning difficulties and behavioural problems1. The earlier hearing loss occurs in a child's life, the more serious the effect on the child's development if left untreated. Similarly, the earlier the hearing loss is identified and intervention begun, the less serious the ultimate effects in the child’s development will be.
Every moment matters
There isn’t a moment to waste. The earlier your child is tested, diagnosed and treated for any hearing loss, the greater their chances of realising their personal best in speech and language skills. Early intervention is the best way to help your child grow up normally – able to attend mainstream schools, communicate with their teachers and classmates, make new friends and feel safe and confident in a world of sound. Research shows that children who are fit with appropriate amplification before six months old can develop language skills on par with their hearing peers2.
What’s the next step?
Make an appointment with a health professional who can advise you on the best options for your child. If you don’t already have someone to speak to, we can help you find a clinic close to you. Once your child is diagnosed with a hearing loss, he or she should be fitted with hearing aids as soon as possible. This will give your child some access to sounds and prepare them for an implant if it’s the right option. Following the hearing aid fitting, you should also start a program of family-centred auditory therapy. You will play a crucial role throughout your child’s journey towards hearing and language development. But the most important thing you can do is to just take action. Remember, there isn’t a moment to waste.
Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.
- Bidadi S, Nejadkazem M, Naderpour M. The relationship between chronic otitis media-induced hearing loss and the acquisition of social skills. Otolaryngol. head neck surg. 2008 Nov;139(5):665-70.
- American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) [online] Available from URL: http://www.asha.org/public/hearing/treatment/child_aids.htm