At LOVE TO HEAR AGAIN - MAUI, we work with all ages and love to help children hear. Dr. Navarro has specialized training in early infant hearing and working with families of hearing impaired children. Since he has been hearing impaired since childhood, he knows how hearing loss can create special challenges including speech and language delays and problems at school with developing social skills. Hearing health plays a critical part in a child’s development.
Hearing loss is the most common birth defect in newborns which is why every child in the U.S is supposed to have a hearing screening before they leave the hospital. If your child fails the hearing screening in the hospital, Dr. Navarro can provide the follow up services for your child’s hearing soon after birth. Since normal hearing children actually start hearing their mother’s voice before birth, Dr. Navarro believes the earliest identification and treatment of hearing loss is the only way to avoid additional hearing development delays.
If hearing loss is detected, it is important to start hearing device use as soon as possible. We work with your pediatrician or ear, nose, and throat specialist to help your child maximize hearing, speech, language, and social skills. Hearing loss may range from mild hearing impairments that make it hard for the child to respond when they are not facing the speaker to total loss of hearing where the child does not respond to sound at all.
At any age, if your child is not responding to sound the way you expect, it is recommended you ask your pediatrician for a hearing consultation as soon as possible. Children as young as few months should awaken in response to loud noise and move their eyes to look for a source of sound by 2 to 3 months. By 3-4 months, they may turn their heads toward a sound.
Causes of Hearing Loss in Children
There are many causes of hearing loss in children including birth trauma, hereditary, medications, common childhood diseases, or earwax. Pre-mature babies weighing less than 5 pounds are at higher risk for hearing loss. In Dr. Navarro’s 46 years of experience, every child he has ever seen with a running nose has had a treatable hearing loss in the middle part of the ear. Persistent middle ear infections can be as dangerous as permanent hearing loss in terms of disrupting normal hearing or speech-language development.