Hearing loss is a common sensory impairment in childhood. There are mainly two types of hearing loss - conductive hearing loss and sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss is caused due to the reduced mobility of ossicles, or as a result of blockage such as earwax, and glue ear. It can be treated with surgery. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused due to the damage of cochlea or deterioration of hair cells or nerves in the ear.
Hearing loss in children as well as new born population may be progressive or late-onset hearing loss. Some of the common causes of progressive or late-onset hearing loss include environmental and hereditary factors, infections, illness, trauma, and noise induced hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss of any degree, including mild bilateral and unilateral, can adversely affect the speech, language, academic, and psychosocial development of children. It can be corrected with the help of hearing aids, middle ear implants, and cochlear implants.
Hearing loss and hearing aids
Hearing aids are electronic hearing devices, which consist of a speaker, microphone, and amplifier. These hearing aids are used to amplify sound in the patient’s ear and make sound audible and comfortable for the patient. A hearing aid device helps in comprehending the speech and to amplify soft speech and environmental sound.
These hearing devices are available in various styles and sizes, including:
- In the ear
- Behind the ear
- In the canal and
- Completely in the ear
Volume control, telecoil, clipping, Bluetooth, programmability, remote control, FM, direct audio input, and multiple microphone directionality are some of the significant features of the hearing aid devices.
Contralateral routing of signals (CROS) hearing aids, eyeglass aids, disposable hearing aids, and bone conduction hearing aids are some of the common types of hearing aids which are used in case of the pediatric population.
Real-Ear-To-Coupler Difference (RECD) is one of the recent diagnostic tests that are used to evaluate pediatric hearing loss.