DON’T ALLOW YOUR CHILD’S HEARING LOSS TO BECOME PERMANENT!

İşitme3

Hearing loss in children is an important problem that causes concern for parents. Whether congenital or caused later by damage to the auditory nerve, hearing loss usually occurs because of infections in the middle ear and the fluid accumulations called “serous otitis media” are caused as a result. Middle ear infections and fluid accumulations occur more frequently in the fall with the change in temperatures causing an increase in viral infections and allergic symptoms. In fact the middle ear infections seen in children under 3 go up to 75 percent more in the fall. Studies show that out of every 2 children that have middle ear infections, 1 child has the infection recurring 3 times in a year. However long the infection lasts and the frequency increases, the child spends that much time with hearing loss. This can have a negative impact on the child’s education and social life. Acibadem Bakırköy Hospital Otolaryngology Specialist Dr. Yeliz Kantürk, drew attention to the fact that if hearing loss is not detected early it can turn into a permanent condition and added “This is why families need to observe their children for symptoms of hearing loss very carefully in order to make sure they are diagnosed early and treated properly”.

Beware of these symptoms!

Otolaryngology Specialist Dr. Yeliz Kantürk listed the symptoms indicating hearing loss as follows:

  • If there is an ear ache or clogged ear,
  • Reduced response to sound, for example doesn’t respond to your calling,
  • High volume on the television,
  • Decline in school performance,
  • Uneasiness and irritability
  • Late in speaking,
  • Difficulty pronouncing words,
  • Slight speech impairment,
  • Attention deficit.

There are 3 sources of hearing loss

  1. A) The outer ear: The reasons for hearing loss caused by the outer ear can be wax accumulation, an outer ear infection or a foreign object.
  2. B) The middle ear: The reasons for hearing loss caused by the middle ear can be the serous otitis media, or fluid accumulation that occurs after an infection.
  3. C) The inner ear: Generally this is congenital. Hearing loss can be detected in infancy by giving the baby a newborn ear examination.

Do not allow hearing loss to become permanent

İşitme4Otolaryngology Specialist Dr. Yeliz Kantürk underlined why it is important for hearing loss to be detected early in children. “When a child experiences hearing loss for even just 1 month during their learning stage, their education can be disrupted” explained Yeliz Kantürk and added: “If a child has an ear infection or fluid in their middle ear, this needs to be addressed as soon as possible with medication and surgery if necessary because in the long run this can cause thinning of the ear drum, penetration of the ear drum and permanent damage to the ossicles making hearing loss permanent. In hearing impairment caused by congenital auditory nerve defects, solutions like a hearing aide or surgery must be decided on to make sure that the child’s language and mental development is normal.”

Treatment can prevent your child developing hearing loss

Otolaryngology Specialist Dr. Yeliz Kantürk said that treatment depends in the cause of hearing loss and explained as follows: “For example, depending on the cause of outer ear problems, ears can be cleaned out, a foreign object removed and infection can be controlled with ear drops. When there is fluid buildup in the middle ear medical treatment is necessary and when treatment is not responded to tubes may need to be inserted or the ear drum may need to be slit to remove the fluid. By providing treatment early on the child’s hearing can be returned to normal to prevent permanent hearing loss. In congenital, or hearing loss caused by a damaged auditory nerve, a hearing aid or cochlear implant, or in other words a bionic ear operation, can save the child from being deaf and mute and help him/her resume a normal life.”