For adults, identifying the early signs of hearing loss and making an appointment with an audiologist can sometimes be a bit tricky – but it is generally something that the individual in question can address of their own initiative.
When it comes to children who are experiencing hearing loss, however, it falls to the parents to identify the tell-tale signs and then make the arrangements for an audiologist appointment, on behalf of their children.
For this reason, it’s very important that parents should be attentive to the early potential warning signs that their children may be experiencing or developing hearing loss.
Here are four signs that your child needs a hearing test:
1. Your child frequently complains that they can’t hear
Young children will naturally tend to try and communicate their concerns to their parents, so the first step in noticing whether your child has the early signs of hearing loss, is to pay attention to their own comments.
If your child frequently complains to you that they can’t hear – either that they can’t hear what you’re saying to them, or that the volume on the TV is too low, or any number of other things – this is a clear sign that you should book them in for an audiologist appointment, just to get a clear empirical idea of the situation.
Parents might assume their child just isn’t paying attention – but hearing loss might be the real root cause.
2. Your child’s grades fall, or the teacher comments to you that they aren’t as attentive as the other children
There could be various reasons for a decrease in your child’s grades, or for them not appearing to be properly attentive in the classroom.
But while personal concerns and broader behavioural conditions may be responsible, it can also be the case that your child is simply struggling to hear what’s being said, and is too shy to openly say so.
It might be a good idea to ask your child questions such as “can you hear the teacher properly?” In order to get a clear understanding of the situation. In either event, consulting with an audiologist can be a good idea to clarify the situation.
3. Your child seems to be concentrating very intensely whenever you talk to them
It might be that your child is just naturally very attentive, but if you notice that they seem to be especially focused or concentrated whenever you talk to them – and especially if they have recently become more intense whenever you talk to them – this can be a sign of hearing loss.
It’s entirely possible that your child doesn’t really know what’s going on, but that they are trying very hard to follow along with the conversation.
4. Your child seems to talk very loudly, and may be argumentative
If your child is experiencing hearing loss, it will be natural for them to speak more loudly, as they won’t be able to accurately gauge the volume of their own voice.
It might seem as though your child is being overly boisterous, but this might not be the case.
It is also possible that your child seems more irritable and argumentative in general. This could also be a sign that they are frustrated due to underlying hearing loss, especially when combined with other tell-tale signs.