For parents who have a child born with serious hearing loss, there is good news. In children as young as 12 months of age, advancements in technology are making it possible to treat profound hearing loss. In the United States, nearly one out of every 1,000 newborns-about 33 babies a day-is born deeply deaf. There are, luckily, care options. Cochlear implants, for example, are small, complex, implantable electronic devices that restore hearing by bypassing the damaged parts of the ear to activate the auditory nerve directly, and with a hearing aid, they can be useful for those who can not hear or understand speech well.
1. What is Childhood Hearing Loss?
They may diagnose a child with hearing loss if they can’t hear sounds below a certain level of volume, depending on the hearing test results, in either ear (known as unilateral) or both ears (bilateral). The most minimal threshold is usually somewhere around 15 to 20 decibels (dB) of sound, which is roughly the sound of leaves rustling or people whispering. Even though being unable to hear leaves rustling would be considered a slight hearing loss, it will make it harder to understand certain parts of speech. That’s why treating hearing loss is so critical in kids, who are learning language from the moment they are born.