Toddler hearing problems can cause problems for language development. If a parent notices any signs of hearing loss in toddlers, the parents should have the child’s hearing checked by a physician. Early detection and treatment of toddler hearing problems can prevent long-term or permanent problems.

Symptoms of hearing loss in toddlers include delays in speech development, noticeable difficulty hearing all sounds or sounds to one side of the child’s head, a lack of reaction to sound, and difficulty following directions or paying attention. These behaviors could be signs of a toddler hearing problem.

Toddlers who show any of these signs of hearing loss should have their hearing tested by a physician. Hearing tests for toddlers may use a method of teaching the toddler to turn their head to the source of a sound. When toddlers turn their heads towards the sounds during testing, they are rewarded with the activation of an animated toy.

The most common cause of toddler hearing problems is ear infections. An ear infection can cause permanent hearing loss. Therefore, a parent should have the child’s ear checked if the child shows signs of an ear infection. The signs of an ear infection are irritability, rubbing the ear, tugging the ear, and difficulty hearing.

Prompt medical treatment of ear infections reduces the risk of permanent hearing loss. Bacterial ear infections are typically treated with antibiotics. Recurrent ear infections may be treated with surgically-implanted ear tubes.

Hearing loss in toddlers can also be caused by head trauma, injury, genetic condition, illness, wax build up in the ear canal, or exposure to noise. If the toddler has a risk of developing a hearing loss, the doctor may recommend that the toddler’s hearing be checked every six months.

Once the toddler’s hearing is evaluated, a hearing specialist can recommend treatment options. If the hearing loss is due to a perforated eardrum, surgery may be recommended to repair the damage to the eardrum. For the treatment of hearing loss in toddlers, there are hearing aids designed for infants and young children. The earlier the toddler is treated, the less likely there will be a negative impact on the toddler’s speech development due to the hearing loss.