Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural hearing loss happens when the special sensory cells for hearing are damaged or have a lack of development. Sensorineural Hearing Loss can also happen due to a damaged or underdeveloped nerve of hearing. Most of the permanent hearing loss that happens at birth is sensorineural. Sometimes sensorineural hearing loss can also be developed later on due to a serious illness. When this happens in infancy or the toddler years, this developmental disability can have serious consequences on child development.

Hearing is crucial in the development of a child’s language skills. Sensorineural hearing loss can often be mistaken for a speech developmental disability. A child with hearing issues may not speak clearly or even speak at all. Hearing is one of the first things tested for if there are speech problems. Even temporary hearing loss at a young age can cause severe issues. If you suspect sensorineural hearing loss, or any loss at all you should consult a the pediatrician immediately.

A large number of children experience temporary hearing loss when fluid accumulates in the middle ear. This is usually due to a cold or allergies. Once the cold or allergies subside, the fluid normally drains and hearing returns to normal. Occasionally is some children the fluid may not drain and this will cause some issues, rarely permanent though. This should not be confused with sensorineural hearing loss.

The biggest concern of parents with children who have hearing loss is if their child will learn to speak. Almost all children with hearing loss can learn to speak, it’s just a matter of clearness. Sensorineural hearing loss can be a difficult developmental disability to deal with. Children with sensorineural hearing loss in both ears should be fitted with hearing aids as soon as possible. It is crucial to diagnose the amount of hearing loss in each ear.

As always, if something seems off or if you have concerns talk to a doctor. You can read more about sensorineural hearing loss here:

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/developmental-disabilities/pages/Hearing-Loss.aspx

http://www.luriechildrens.org/en-us/care-services/conditions-treatments/ear-nose-throat-otolaryngology/Pages/basics/hearing-loss/sensorineural-hearing-loss.aspx

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