Your baby can hear with one ear. This is an asset that must be protected. There are three additional issues that may have an impact on hearing in either ear through your child's life:
The ear naturally produces wax (or cerumen) to protect the ear canal. Ears are usually self-cleaning. The wax and dirt move away from the ear drum to the opening of the ear canal and the wax can be removed with a damp cloth.
Sometimes there is a build up of wax in the ear canal and it blocks sound from reaching the ear drum. This will make it more difficult for your child with UHL to hear. A build up of wax in young children is usually only noticed during routine ear examinations at the doctor or audiologist.
Ear drops that soften the wax are available from the chemist and this may be all that is needed. Do not insert any foreign objects into the ear canal!
Always visit your GP if you are concerned.
Ear infections are common in young children and can cause temporary hearing loss and impact on speech development and learning.
Ear infections can occur in the outer ear (otitis externa) or the middle ear (otitis media).
Preventing ear infections
While you may not be able to prevent ear infections, you can certainly reduce your child's risk of ear infections.
Treating ear infections
Mild infections can be treated with paracetamol (such as Panadol). See your family doctor if your child:
If you are worried about your child's hearing, arrange an appointment with your family doctor (GP). Your GP will examine your child's ears and should be able to tell if glue ear is present. If there is any pain or sign of infection your GP may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Your GP may want to wait to see if the glue ear clears up by itself before referring your child to an ENT specialist.12
Noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) is an increasing problem in society. "The effect of noise is cumulative, based on frequency of participation, total time of exposure and intensity of the sound (level in decibels). If you need to raise your voice or shout in order to be understood in background noise, then the noise has the potential to damage hearing.12" Of particular concern to hearing professionals is the impact of noisy leisure activities on hearing. Your child with UHL needs to be taught from an early age about protecting their hearing from hazardous levels of noise.
Children learn from observing their parents. Start today to protect your hearing so your child will learn from your example.
Protecting you and your child from noise
For more information
Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is not intended as a substitute for independent professional advice.
04-Nov-2022 3:55 PM (AEST)