Hearing Loss in Children with Down Syndrome

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Every parent knows that raising a child is hard work. This enormous task becomes even more emotionally and physically challenging when a child is born with down syndrome. It can be helpful for parents to learn that children with down syndrome are more susceptible to experiencing hearing loss.

Monitoring the hearing loss in children with down syndrome has been a health care practice guideline published by the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2011. According to the guidelines, it is recommended to have hearing evaluations every six months. Once these children have reached school age, the tests should continue annually throughout their childhood.

One of the predisposed issues children with down syndrome have are characteristics that may predispose them to hearing difficulties. Scans have revealed structural abnormalities in the inner ear, such as narrow internal auditory canals and semicircular canal malformations. Research has indicated that surgical intervention for the treatment of conductive hearing loss may not be as successful.

As with all children, hearing loss effects poor language outcomes and can also negatively affect long-term development. Since children with down syndrome suffer from additional detrimental effects on cognitive ability, it is critical to be aware of the implications hearing loss can have on them.

Study results have revealed a surprisingly high percentage of the prevalence of hearing loss with Down syndrome (36%). Methods in helping children live a life free of hearing difficulties include otologic treatment such as the placement of pressure equalization tubes in the ears. If intervening medically is not an option, amplification is also a solution.

The goal of any health care provider is to administer the best care possible for whatever the situation may entail. If you or your children suffer from hearing loss, reach out to one of our professionals who can help you and your family. Staying educated on hearing loss and monitoring any issues that occur can prevent further difficulties and fulfill lifelong success in a child’s healthy hearing.