The Pediatric Audiologist Trusted Throughout Western Montana
Whether your child was born with hearing problems or you’re worried that they may have developed some form of hearing loss, don’t hesitate to visit a pediatric audiologist. Early detection can give your child the best chance at adapting to the condition and thriving both socially and academically. Vibrant Hearing, Western Montana’s top audiologist for kids, can properly determine your child’s hearing ability and create a unique treatment plan catering to their specific needs.
How to Tell if Your Child May Have Hearing Loss
Depending on your child’s age, they may not be able to let you know that something’s wrong with their hearing by themselves. Make an appointment with one of Vibrant Hearing’s pediatric audiology specialists if you notice anything that makes you suspect hearing loss.
Of course, the signs will vary based on the age of your child. With infants and babies, be wary of:
- The inability to locate the source of, or pay attention to, various sounds
- Seemingly ignoring loud sounds and/or the sound of your voice
- A lack of verbal communication, including crying for needs, cooing, laughing, babbling, or being upset
- Them not speaking within the first year
With toddlers, signs of hearing loss include:
- The inability to follow simple directions
- Not asking or answering questions
- Infrequently learning new words
- Not pointing to pictures in books, body parts, or other things when asked to
- Trouble communicating with your family and/or with other children
Older children and teenagers, while more likely to pick up on the fact that something is affecting their hearing ability, may still need your help to tell that they could be suffering from hearing loss. If they don’t complain to you about changes in their hearing, you can look out for signs such as:
- Frequently asking you or others to repeat what was said
- Feeling the need to turn up the television or music to a loud volume
- Only responding when direct eye contact is made
- Inability to hear high-pitched noises
- Trouble understanding speech, particularly in noisy areas
- Social withdrawal
Types of Hearing Loss
While your pediatric audiologist will provide a professional diagnosis of your child’s type of hearing loss, you may wish to know ahead of time that it will most likely be one of the following types:
- Conductive loss – This is a typically curable form of hearing loss caused by factors such as ear infections and fluid buildup, impaction in the ear canal, a damaged eardrum, or a birth defect. Minor procedures or surgeries will be performed to treat the issue.
- Sensorineural loss – This is the type caused by damage to the inner ear or auditory nerve; in other words, the unwanted side effect of noise-related damage. But it can also be the result of a birth defect, the use of ototoxic drugs during pregnancy, low birth weight, or treatments for other medical conditions. It is incurable, but manageable with the right treatment plan.
It is also possible for your child to have mixed hearing loss, which is a combination of the aforementioned conditions. Should this be the case, your pediatric audiologist will recommend the most appropriate forms of treatment based on the nature of your child’s condition. And whether your child was born with hearing loss or developed it later, our team can provide the appropriate aural habilitation or rehabilitation treatments.
The Top Hearing Specialist for Children in Missoula, MT
With Vibrant Hearing on your child’s side, their life won’t have to be defined by their hearing loss. Our pediatric audiologists will provide compassionate care and personalized treatment methods to help your child live their best life. Contact us today to request an appointment at our Missoula, MT, clinic.