Emotional Effects Of Untreated Hearing Loss in ChildrenOct 04, 2013
Hearing loss is not as common in children as it is in adults, but the effects of untreated hearing loss in children are far-reaching, and devastating. And it’s completely unnecessary. Read on to find out how hearing loss affects children, and what hearing aids can do to turn it around.
Hearing loss in children is difficult to track, but the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that approximately 1-5 children in every 1000 have some form of hearing impairment.
Hearing Loss Should Be Treated Early
Children with untreated hearing loss often suffer many of the same emotional affects as adults, and then some. The sooner the hearing loss is treated, the easier it is for a child’s brain to use its natural auditory pathways to process sound. (Watch a short video about the importance of early treatment)
Hearing Loss Affects Language Learning
When hearing loss is left untreated in children, it’s not only harder to use the brain’s natural auditory pathways later on in life, but so many areas of life are affected, including language. Research has shown that children with undetected or untreated hearing loss fall behind in language and speech development compared to their peers with no hearing impairment.
Challenges with Hearing Loss
Children with hearing loss also suffer from other challenges, such as:
- Communication. Children with hearing loss suffer the same as adults from not being able to participate in conversations with family, friends and peers. Children under six months are particularly vulnerable, because when they can’t hear, they don't have the opportunity to learn important language skills that are gained from listening to conversations around them.
- Isolation. Children with untreated hearing loss often become withdrawn and isolated from their peers because they can’t participate in conversations, and are embarrassed because they can’t communicate.
- Learning. Learning language is difficult for young children with hearing loss, and learning in school becomes harder for older children who can’t hear their teacher explain lessons or offer instruction.
- Family Relationships. Children with hearing impairments may have a difficult time expressing how they feel to their family members, leading to anger and frustration on both sides.
Hearing Loss Leads To Frustration
Children with untreated hearing loss are particularly susceptible to feelings of anger, frustration, low self-esteem and depression. And while learning is already a struggle for children who can’t hear the lesson, it becomes even more difficult because struggling to hear and understand is physically exhausting.
Hearing Aids Help
Fortunately, a child’s health and well-being can be significantly improved once their hearing impairment is treated with the right hearing aids. When the hearing impairment is detected and corrected early, language skills can develop normally and children with hearing impairment can develop at the same level as their peers. This has a positive impact on their social integration, self-esteem and academic success.
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