The detection of hearing loss and early intervention are necessary to prevent additional problems with speech and language development. A team approach will be used when a child is diagnosed with some degree of hearing loss. Managing hearing loss may involve the following professionals:
Otolaryngologist: a physician with special training in the medical and surgical treatment of children with disorders of the ear, nose, and throat
audiologist: a professional who specializes in the evaluation and management of hearing and balance problems in people of all ages(Audiologists also fit and manage hearing aids and other assistive devices).
Speech pathologist: a professional who evaluates and manages speech, language, and hearing problems in children and adults
Your child’s physician will develop a specific treatment plan for your child’s hearing loss that will be determined by the following:
- Your child’s age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your child’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
The management of hearing loss may include one or more of the following:
- The use of hearing aids, electronic or battery-operated devices that can amplify and change sound. A microphone receives the sound and amplifies it so that it is louder to the child. The sound waves are then converted into electrical signals.
- Cochlear implants, a surgically placed appliance that helps to transmit electrical stimulation to the inner ear. Only certain children are candidates for this type of device.
- The use of assisted listening devices in a school setting
- Training in sign language and lip reading