By Laura L. Brady, Au.D., CCC-A,
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
Whether you have concerns about your child’s hearing already or haven’t even considered there might be an issue, these 10 indications of hearing loss can help you determine if it’s a good idea to follow up with a hearing test.
1. “Huh? What Did You Say?”
As parents, we all know that hearing and LISTENING are not the same. But, if it seems your child is experiencing hearing issues, even when it appears he/she is listening well, you should ask your child’s physician for an in-office hearing test or referral.
2. Failed School Screening
School-aged children routinely have vision and hearing screenings conducted at school. Generally, parents are NOT notified unless there is a concern. If you receive a notice from your child’s school that he/she did not pass the hearing screening, please follow-up as the notice recommends.
3. Teacher’s Report — Part I
Let’s face it, teachers spend A LOT of time with our children and are likely the first to notice if your child is experiencing hearing issues. Though, at times, it can be difficult to separate attention/focus from actual hearing ability, if your child’s teacher shares a concern, you should have it checked out.
4. Teacher’s Report — Part II
Have you noticed a sudden drop in your child’s grades? Listening can be a tiring task when struggling with hearing. It can be easy for your child to “tune out” the teacher’s lessons, which can then impact his/her grades.
5. “Why is That Television so LOUD?”
Many kids like to raise the volume of the television. For some shows, like cartoons, it can make them seem more exciting and fun, but it could also be a sign that your child is experiencing hearing issues. If your child insists that he/she cannot hear the television at a level that you believe is typical, consider getting your child’s hearing tested.
6. “Inside Voice, Please!”
Some hearing problems interfere with our ability to monitor the volume of our own voice. If your child seems to be talking either too loudly (or too softly), consider having his/her hearing checked.
7. Recent Upper Respiratory Infection, Colds, Allergies, Flu
Anything that causes swelling in the back of the nose/throat area can cause secondary problems with middle ear health and hearing. Even if there is no fever or pain, your child could still have trouble hearing. If your child recently had a bad cold and, a couple of weeks later, seems to not be hearing well, have it checked.
8. “I’m Hearing a Funny Sound!”
If a child reports any unusual noises in their head or ears (ringing, rushing, roaring, beeping, hissing, etc.), particularly after being exposed to loud sound, have his/her hearing checked.
9. Eagle Eyes
Children are marvelously adaptable to using what senses they can to figure out what’s going on and communicate! If you notice that your child seems unusually attentive to visual information and watching the faces of people speaking, have his/her hearing checked.
10. “I Thought You Said…”
Does your child seem to mishear or misunderstand what was said? Some hearing problems are subtle and can interfere with hearing certain speech sounds. If this is happening, consider a hearing test.