Childhood deafness is of enormous importance as it can be an impediment in language acquisition and cognitive development.
It is detected shortly after birth through universal, or later auditory screening, on suspicion of parents, educators or pediatrician.
Signs to suspect that a child can not hear well:
- If at 6 months does not emit noise or babble
- If at 12 months do not hear sounds (doorbell, phone) or recognize his name
- If 15 months does not imitate simple words
- If 24 months does not say about 10 words
- If 36 months does not say two-word phrases
- If 48 months does not say simple sentences
- This history of otitis or risk factors associated with deafness
Deafness may be transmissive (problem in outer or middle ear) or sensorineural (inner ear or auditory nerve). The most common in children is transmissive, is usually temporary and is caused generally by catarrhal otitis. Sensorineural hearing loss is less common, is permanent, may appear from birth and be hereditary or due to problems in pregnancy, childbirth or infancy.
Early detection and treatment of hearing loss are essential for the prognosis, especially in cases of great hearing loss. The absence of auditory stimulation early in life causes brain atrophy that alter cognitive and language development forever.
Treatment for otitis is transmissive deafness doctor. In cases where it is not settled, surgery is indicated vent tube in the eardrum. Children with sensorineural hearing loss permanent, however, need hearing aids and speech therapy. A small percentage require cochlear implant.
Today, with early treatment, even in cases of profound deafness, almost total language development and school integration is achieved.