May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. This month is dedicated to sharing information to help spread awareness about communication disorders. Throughout this month Gemiini will be highlighting information to help inform about communication disorders and the professionals that treat those disorders.
This week we are highlighting hearing loss. In the United States newborns should receive a newborn hearing screening. According to the American Speech and Hearing Association, babies who did not pass their screening should have a follow-up appointment within three months. While newborn hearing screenings have helped with the early identification of hearing loss, it is still important to know and recognize the signs of hearing loss.
One common reason for hearing loss in children is ear infections. An ear infection occurs when fluid builds up in the ears and becomes infected. The fluid in the ear can make it difficult to hear and can create a temporary hearing loss. Children with chronic ear infections are at risk because hearing loss is more frequent and might not resolve fully before the next ear infection. The American Speech and Hearing Association provides some helpful tips about ear infections. If you suspect an ear infection talk with your doctor. If your child is having frequent ear infections your doctor may recommend seeing an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. Often, audiologists (hearing professionals) work with ENTs to help diagnose hearing loss.
Hearing loss can occur for other reasons in childhood. If you suspect that your child is not hearing as they should or if speech milestones are not being met, it is important to rule out hearing loss as a cause. You can find more information about hearing loss and the common signs here. Please speak with your child’s doctor if you have concerns about hearing.
Speech milestones: https://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/chart/
Hearing loss signs and information: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hearing-loss.html