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Deaf Child - What Should You Know?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.S K Jha 90% (31ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Durgapur  •  17years experience
Deaf Child - What Should You Know?

A deaf child is the one who suffers from hearing loss. Children with deafness may also fail to develop speech. Such children might have no defect in their speech but they cannot speak anything. The main reason is deafness. They do not hear a speech, therefore, cannot develop it. Deafness may not be hereditary, but it occurs due to several other causes. 

The period of 5 years is crucial in a child’s life. During this period, they develop their speech and language. Therefore, parents need to take the utmost care for the early identification of hearing loss and treat the child accordingly. 

Causes of Deafness in Children

There are several causes of deafness in children.

  • Otitis Media: In young children, if the eustachian tube is not fully formed, it forms fluid behind the eardrum. This fluid can get infected and affect the hearing. The fluid may not cause any pain or infection but still, it can harm and cause hearing loss even if it stays for a short time. 

  • Problems by Birth: Some children have hearing problems by birth. Sometimes, the problem lies in the genes. But, other times during pregnancy or prenatal care, the problem arises. If a mother, while pregnancy, has diabetes or preeclampsia, she is likely to deliver a deaf child. A prematurely born baby also has a high risk of deafness.

  • Illness or Injury: Some young children suffer hearing loss due to some injury in the ear or some other illness. Illness includes meningitis, measles, chickenpox, and flu. Head injury or listening to loud music for a long time can also be a reason.

Symptoms of a Deaf Child

  • A deaf child shows no reaction to the loud noises.

  • He/she doesn’t respond to the voices.

  • The sound of the child is simple that taper off.

  • The child may pull or rub the ear several times, which is noticeable.

  • The child is continuously cranky for no particular reason.

  • He/she does not pay any attention when anyone is talking.

  • He/she has very little energy to do anything. 

  • He/she fails to understand the direction.

  • Often asks to raise the volume of TV or radio.

  • Have fever and ear pain.

Treatment of the Problem

Hearing loss affects a child’s learning ability. So, the problem must be diagnosed and treated immediately. Here are some treatment approaches: 

  • Treatment for Otitis Media: The very first thing parents and doctors can do is watchful waiting because sometimes the problem cures itself. Some pediatricians might prescribe some antibiotics. If the problems continue, then the doctor will suggest getting an ear tube to the child that will allow the fluid to drain. For this, the child will have to visit an ENT doctor also called Otolaryngologist. 

  • Treatment for other causes: The child may use a hearing aid. Some can get cochlear implants

Conclusion

It is necessary for parents to accept the child with deformity and stay by his/her side. They must get themselves educated and communicate the problem with others to get help. It is essential to stay in touch with the child and take care of him.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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