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Author: admin, 22.10.2013
If you believe your child is experiencing a hearing loss, please contact our office in Burien, Washington today to schedule an appointment with one of our Audiologists.
Here are just a few reasons to choose Highline Hearing Professionals for your hearing needs. When treatment is an option, it should start as early as possible – even when the child is as young as two months old.
Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to fellow parents, caregivers, and experts about the challenges facing your child. May 11, 2013 by rtc May is Better Hearing month and the following is a guest post from John O’ Connor. Filed Under: Hearing Loss Tagged With: Child Hearing Loss, Hearing Aid, Hearing Awareness MonthGet the Book! Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes those diagnosed with it to suffer all manner of problems with their equilibrium. If ear infections go untreated the infection (similar to pus) in the middle ear space can grow and grow until it bursts the eardrum, resulting in a draining ear. Cholesteatoma and ear tubes: When a child has had tubes inserted, a small cut is made in the eardrum for the tube to fit into. Cholesteatoma prevention: The secondary effects of ear infection, including infection spreading into the mastoid (the bump behind your ear) and the development of cholesteatoma was once a leading cause of death in children.
How our ears work: In order to understand what a conductive hearing loss is, it is important to know a little about how we hear. Experience a bit of hearing loss: Plug your ears with your index fingers to experience a conductive hearing loss.
You understand better if you can watch people as they speak, but this is hard as people turn their heads, move around, cover their faces with their hands, etc. A child experiencing frequent ear infections will have hearing loss that can change from day to day.
My thanks to Judith Blumsack, PhD, who collaborated with me during the development of this information.  Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If pregnant, she should avoid certain activities (like handling cat litter) that can expose the fetus to dangerous infections such as toxoplasmosis. If there is a family history of hearing loss on either the mother’s or the father’s side, the parents may want to obtain genetic counseling before becoming pregnant.
Early and consistent prenatal care will reduce the risk of prematurity which causes some cases of hearing loss. The loss can range from mild, one that causes difficulty hearing hushed tones such as a whisper to moderately severe, where the child can still hear loud speech, to a total loss resulting in deafness.
The most common, a conductive hearing loss, is associated with conditions in the external or middle ear that block the transmission of sound.
This occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or nerve pathways from the inner to the brain.
Early treatment of hearing loss can allow many infants to develop normal language skills without delay. Good intervention plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups and any changes needed along the way.
It is sometimes hard to diagnose correctly and its symptoms vary in intensity from patient to patient.
Typically, it is a growth in the middle ear,  in just one ear but it is possible for it to affect both ears.
The reason for this developmental abnormality is unknown however it is not believed to run in families (not a genetic disorder). This hole can be very ragged, with uneven edges that make it hard for the eardrum to heal smoothly. Today’s modern medicine can identify cholesteatoma growths and treat them early thereby preventing the most serious hearing loss and other complications, but it is still necessary for the family or individual to seek treatment. Since the source of the problem in many cases is Eustachian tube dysfunction (ears don’t ‘pop’) in about ? – ? of cases the cholesteatoma comes back and additional surgery is needed. A conductive hearing loss happens when sound cannot successfully get from the air, through the outer and middle ear, to be able to be processed by the inner ear and then recognized by the brain.
The picture of the parts of the ear will help you understand the chain of events that happens when we hear sound. There are many problems that can interfere with sound reaching the inner ear and cause a conductive hearing loss. The hearing loss can range from 15 dB up to 60 dB and typically affects low pitch sounds more than high pitch sounds, although all hearing is likely to be affected. When you pay more attention, the effort spent listening takes away from ‘instant understanding’ meaning figuring out what was said takes a bit more effort too, along with the effort to listen.
Those who have active ear infection along with a cholesteatoma are likely to have some conductive hearing loss that is always there and more hearing loss that fluctuates as their ear problems get better or worse over time.


A special teacher can make sure the classroom teacher understands how unilateral hearing loss affects classroom understanding and can identify the need for a classroom listening device, like a classroom amplification system or a personal FM system.  Your child will benefit from understanding the types of situations that are most challenging and hearing tactics or self-advocacy strategies he can use to ensure that he is able to get the same access to teacher instruction and peer communication as his classmates. These conditions can include ear infection, fluid in the ear, impacted earwax, a perforated eardrum, a foreign object in the canal or birth defects that alter the canal.
This growth can be present behind the eardrum at birth or it can develop later, sometimes as a complication of middle ear infections. Ear infections that can cause conductive hearing loss and ear drainage are very common, especially in young children. Sometimes there are parts of the eardrum tissue that do not heal cleanly and these bits extend into the middle ear space, resulting in the risk for skin tissue to begin to grow in the middle ear, layer upon layer to develop a cholesteatoma. Children who get ear tubes early and  subsequent tubes inserted without delay when needed, are much less likely to develop a cholesteatoma.
It may be necessary, after surgery, for the ear to be cleaned as needed by a health care professional.
For example, if a person has a build-up of earwax in the ear channel that is enough to interfere with the sound reaching the eardrum, that person would have a conductive hearing loss.
Even though you experience a hearing loss, you would likely ‘pass’ a typical hearing screening at a school or doctor’s office. This inconsistency in the ability to hear makes listening extra challenging and can contribute to children learning to ‘tune out’ when there is noise or someone is speaking at a distance.
Not only does it impact the sound experience of a life yet to be lived to the fullest, but it also creates a barrier to a child’s number one job, learning. It can also be caused by the use of ototoxic drugs (antibiotics), premature birth with a very low birth weight and some of the resulting treatments or a number of other medical conditions. The earlier a child who is deaf or hard-of-hearing starts getting services, the more likely the childa€™s speech, language, and social skills will reach their full potential.Early intervention program services help young children with hearing loss learn language skills and other important skills.
When children go to the doctor with draining ears, it is up to the physician to rule out that a rare and serious cholesteatoma is not the cause.
When the throat is a bit swollen such as when you get a cold, the Eustachian tube doesn’t open as often as it should. When a person has had multiple burst eardrums the eardrum may end up with weak spots where these holes have healed. At roughly the center of the pinna is a channel (called the ear canal) into which the sound travels on its way to what is called the eardrum (also known as the tympanic membrane). If you hold down the tabs of your ears with your index fingers to close off your ear canals you will have caused a conductive hearing loss. With your ears plugged and your back turned, listen to someone talking from across the room with some noise like the TV on. Fortunately, many causes of hearing loss are treatable, and it is often possible to return the sounds of childhood to a young life. Although there is no cure for this type of loss in most cases, children can often be helped with hearing aids.
Some patients are candidates for a cochlear implant while others have clinical features that make it unlikely they will benefit from a cochlea implant.
Sometimes a cholesteatoma is right behind the eardrum or has grown through the eardrum and the physician can easily see it. When the Eustachian tube cannot open, the eardrum is pulled inward into the middle ear space as the pressure increases.
The eardrum vibrates when sound strikes it, causing a chain of extremely tiny bones (called ossicles) that are located on the other side of the eardrum to vibrate. A person born with a malformed ear in which the entrance to ear canal is closed off (atresia, microtia), would have a conductive hearing loss because the malformation would prevent sound from entering the ear normally. There are different options for hearing aids for people with conductive hearing loss and your audiologist can help you decide if a regular hearing aid, bone conduction hearing aid, or a bone-anchored hearing device would be most appropriate. Children are most successful when families are fully involved in advocating for their child’s needs with the school team and supporting his success at home. Frequent hand washing in all settings and safe sexual practices can reduce exposure as well. And there are other types of hearing loss that cannot be treated however the impacts of the hearing loss can be mitigated through education with particular focus on developing communication strategies. Services for children from birth through 36 months of age are called Early Intervention or Part C services. It can also develop in the space in the upper part of the middle ear where the ossicles are, making it impossible to see. A weak spot on the eardrum is likely to retract farther, developing a pouch or sac that can enclose in upon itself and become the start of a cholesteatoma. If the ossicles are malformed or damaged, such as what can happen if there is a cholesteatoma,  they wouldn’t transmit sound well from the middle ear to the inner ear causing a conductive hearing loss. Children with unilateral hearing loss are at 10 times the risk for problems in school (learning, social, behavior) compared to their classmates without hearing loss.


Even if your child has not been diagnosed with a hearing loss, he or she may be eligible for early intervention treatment services. If it grows large it can even dissolve through the bone separating the middle ear space and the brain. In those cases, the only symptom may be increasing hearing loss as the ossicles are dissolved by the cholesteatoma (see conductive hearing loss, below). The vibration of the last ossicle in the chain causes a small membranous section of the bony inner ear (called the cochlea) to also vibrate.  This vibration causes vibration of fluid that is inside the inner ear, and the vibration stimulates delicate cells inside the cochlea to respond and in turn send a message to the brain that a sound has occurred.
This article is specifically about two other causes of a conductive hearing loss: cholesteatoma and chronic middle ear infections.
This surprises most people because they assume that if one ear hears normally that there will be no problem.
The IDEA 2004 says that children under the age of 3 years (36 months) who are at risk of having developmental delays may be eligible for services. Serious potential complications of cholesteatoma include hearing loss, brain abscess, dizziness, facial paralysis, meningitis, and spreading of the cyst into the brain. Sometimes this fluid becomes infected by bacteria that have traveled from the throat up the Eustachian tube to the middle ear space. If a problem interferes with the sound vibrations reaching the inner ear, we say that there is a conductive hearing loss. Once the eardrum returns to a more normal position, even if there is fluid behind it, the earache gets better. Depending on the extent of the problem, a person with a conductive hearing loss might have difficulty hearing only soft sounds or the person have difficulty hearing typical conversation.
You can hear but it is much harder to understand what is said where there is any background noise and it is very easy to miss subtle communication, like quiet comments or the sounds we make to let someone know that we are paying attention to what they are saying. Through this system, you can ask for an evaluation.Special Education (3-22 years)Special education is instruction specifically designed to address the educational and related developmental needs of older children with disabilities, or those who are experiencing developmental delays.
It isn’t surprising that some children think others are talking about them because they can tell there is a conversation but cannot clearly understand what it is about. These services are available through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 (IDEA 2004), Part B.Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) ProgramEvery state has an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. EHDI also promotes timely follow-up testing and services or interventions for any family whose child has a hearing loss. If your child has a hearing loss or if you have any concerns about your childa€™s hearing, call toll free 1-800-CDC-INFO or contact your local EHDI Program coordinator to find available services in your state.TechnologyMany people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have some hearing.
Technology does not "cure" hearing loss, but may help a child with hearing loss to make the most of their residual hearing. This may give them the chance to learn speech skills at a young age.There are many styles of hearing aids. A young child is usually fitted with behind-the-ear style hearing aids because they are better suited to growing ears.Cochlear ImplantsA cochlear implant may help many children with severe to profound hearing loss a€” even very young children.
A cochlear implant sends sound signals directly to the hearing nerve.A cochlear implant has two main parts a€” the parts that are placed inside the ear during surgery, and the parts that are worn outside the ear after surgery.
The parts outside the ear send sounds to the parts inside the ear.CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carried out studies in 2002 and 2006 to learn more about a possible link between cochlear implants and bacterial meningitis in children with cochlear implants. Following are some examples of other assistive devices:FM SystemAn FM system is a kind of device that helps people with hearing loss hear in background noise. FM systems send sound from a microphone used by someone speaking to a person wearing the receiver. An extra piece is attached to the hearing aid that works with the FM system.CaptioningMany television programs, videos, and DVDs are captioned.
Captions show the conversation spoken in soundtrack of a program on the bottom of the television screen.Other devicesThere are many other devices available for children with hearing loss. This is especially true for a conductive hearing loss, or one that involves a part of the outer or middle ear that is not working in the usual way.One type of conductive hearing loss can be caused by a chronic ear infection.
Infections that don't go away with medication can be treated with a simple surgery that involves putting a tiny tube into the eardrum to drain the fluid out.Another type of conductive hearing loss is caused by either the outer and or middle ear not forming correctly while the baby was growing in the mother's womb. Both the outer and middle ear need to work together in order for sound to be sent correctly to the inner ear. Families who have children with hearing loss often need to change their communication habits or learn special skills (such as sign language) to help their children learn language. These skills can be used together with hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other devices that help children hear.Read about learning language A»Family Support ServicesFor many parents, their childa€™s hearing loss is unexpected.
Parents sometimes need time and support to adapt to the childa€™s hearing loss.Parents of children with recently identified hearing loss can seek different kinds of support.



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