Children with Hearing Loss May Suffer Learning Difficulties in School

Adults are not the only people who struggle with the consequences of hearing loss. A new study shows that children with one-sided hearing loss can suffer from learning problems, causing trouble completing school and low IQ scores.

The recent deafness study in children was performed in Sweden and confirms American research showing a link between single-sided hearing loss and problems with language development. Children with hearing loss in one ear will often do less well in academics compared to classmates with normal hearing, and as much as a third of all children with single-sided hearing loss will have to repeat a year of school.

Early Treatment Can Help Prevent Low IQ Language Scores

Although many children are born with one-sided deafness, there are interventions that can correct or ease the condition—and the earlier these are adopted, the better. Early treatment is effective (and recommended) for a number of reasons, including:

  • Nerve activation. Research shows that if a child’s auditory nerves are not activated at a very early age, he or she will not develop proper hearing. The brain can “reject” auditory nerves that are not used, typically starting after a child turns 10 years old—making nerve activation a priority for your children with hearing loss.
  • Atresia. Some children suffer hearing loss due to atresia, a condition where the outer ear canal is underdeveloped or missing. Children with atresia can opt to have an ear canal constructed with surgery, or to have a bone-embedded hearing aid under the skin—and in either case, the earlier the procedure is undertaken, the greater the chance of hearing restoration.
  • Aging. A similar American study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that adolescents with hearing loss between the ages of 12 and 17 performed less well on language skills tests than peers with normal hearing. In particular, children with single-sided hearing loss had worse language scores and lower verbal IQ.

We Can Help Improve Your Child’s Hearing

As language skills are not likely to improve as a child with hearing loss gets older, it is vital that you seek treatment as soon as possible for your child’s condition. Call our toll-free number 888-262-2613 today to schedule an appointment with the hearing specialists and staff at the Sound Advice Hearing Aid Center nearest you.