If it seems as though your child is struggling to hear you over dinner at home or when out playing at Friendship Park, you may understandably feel concerned.
While permanent hearing issues are possible, there are also several conditions that cause temporary hearing loss in children. Once these issues are treated, your child’s hearing should return to normal.
Ear Infections and Hearing Loss
Ear infections are a common problem in young children, mainly because the smaller size of their ears makes it more likely that fluid will build up in the middle ear. Research shows that five out of six children will have at least one ear infection by the time they reach their third birthday.
The fluid buildup from the infection can cause muffled hearing or temporary hearing loss. Additionally, if your child has an ear infection, they may:
- Have additional symptoms such as a fever and ear drainage
- Tug or pull at their ear frequently
- Seem fussier than usual or cry more frequently
- Have trouble sleeping
- Struggle with their balance
Ear infections often go away on their own and the symptoms can be treated with rest, a warm compress and medication for pain relief. However, you should inform your doctor of your child’s symptoms to see if antibiotics may be necessary. If your child experiences frequent infections, ear tubes may also be recommended.
Earwax Blocking the Ear Canal
Earwax serves a vital purpose by protecting the eardrum and ear canal. Most times, the ear does a good job of regulating just how much wax it needs. It also is adept at self-cleaning. So, while it’s OK to wipe your child’s ear with a gentle washcloth during bath time, there’s no need to ever stick a cotton swab or anything else inside the ear to try and remove earwax. Doing so can actually push earwax back into the canal and cause impaction, leading to pain, pressure and temporary hearing loss.
If you suspect your child has earwax buildup, schedule an appointment with a medical provider. They can quickly and safely perform earwax removal, which should restore your child’s hearing back to normal.
Other Foreign Objects in Ear
Kids are curious by nature, sometimes to a fault. Younger kids sometimes feel compelled to stick pebbles, small candies or other objects into their ears to see if they fit. These objects can easily become stuck in the ear, leading to pain, swelling and temporary hearing loss.
If this happens, avoid the urge to try and remove it yourself and instead take your child to urgent care or make a same-day appointment to have it taken care of by a medical professional.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your child’s hearing tested, contact Massachusetts Hearing Group today.