Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children


Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children

Speech is the trigger point which brings most parents to seek help for their children” say Drs. William and Miriam Hardy, who have tested more than 30,000 children at the Hearing and Speech Center at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center.

The child may not talk at all, he may talk but be impossible to understand, or he may be extremely slow to learn words. There are many possible explanations, but the very first question a doctor will try to answer is: How well can this child hear?

No matter how intelligent, no matter how eager to learn, the child who cannot hear will have trouble talking. If he cannot hear everything you say you can expect him to have a very hard time learning what sounds mean what, and learning how to imitate the sounds you make.  He is very likely to become frustrated, angry, and unsure of himself, and to feel helpless.

Few children are totally deaf. Different kinds of damage to the ear can affect the ability to hear in different ways.

The question is not only how much a child hears, out also just how he hears. His parents may have noticed that he does hear some sounds, and so, even when the child seems to have difficulty talking, they fail to suspect a hearing loss. Instead their child seems disobedient, stubborn, incapable of paying attention, and slow to learn.


Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children

Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children

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Hearing Damage

conductive loss: The louder please” problem

Three-year-old Celia is an example of emne kind of hearing impairment. At first her parents didn’t worry because they
thought she was just slow in developing. After all, she had been late to stand, late to walk, and it seemed natural that she would be late to speak.

By the time she was two she had only spoken a few words; by the time she was three she was just starting to put words together into sentences, but her pronunciation remained very poor.

Gradually her mother noticed that Celia didn’t respond to sound the way other children did. She didn’t come when she was called, although she was spanked for disobeying.  Even a whistle didn’t attract her attention.

She liked television, but only when she could turn the volume so high that her brothers and sisters complained. Celia was a shy child; she didn’t mingle with the fah- ily much.  What puzzled her parents was that she seemed to understand everything they said to her. How could she possibly have trouble hearing?

Exams by an ear, nose and throat specialist and a battery of hearing tests showed how Celia was born with obstructed auditory canals in her outer ears, canals so narrow that the doctor could not even see her ear drums.

The hearing tests showed that very little sound gets through to her inner ear. She can sometimes understand what is said to her, but only if the speaker stands no more than three feet from her head. At a greater distance sound seems so muffled that Celia simply ignores it. Celia is not disobedient; she simply doesn’t hear her mother calling her.

For this child help comes from a special kind of hearing device called a bone conduction aid, which can amplify sound and direct it through the bones of her head to her inner ear. When she is older, perhaps six years -old, a surgeon will widen one of her obstructed auditory canals.


Meanwhile this child will need help from her family to learn to understand and pronounce all the sounds she has missed for so long.

Celia’s kind of hearing impairment is called a conductive loss.  Damage to the outer or middle ear, the structures which amplify and transmit sound to the cochlea, is the source of the problem.

A conductive loss means that all sounds seem faint, no matter what their frequency. High C on the piano seems just as distant and fuzzy as middle C. Conductive loss is the most common kind of hearing impairment and is the cause of 80 percent of hearing problems in school-age children,  according  to  Dr.  William  G.  Hardy.

Fortunately, these children are the very ones which a hearing aid can help most. They need only loudness in order to hear well.

Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children

Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children

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What causes conductive loss?

In the outer ear the problem is often a plug of hardened wax which blocks incoming sound.  By removing the wax a doctor can often solve the problem.  Sometimes a child is born with too narrow a canal, like Celia’s, or no canal at all. Then surgery sometimes can help, as well as a bone conduction hearing aid.

In the middle ear infection is usually the villain and can produce temporary hearing loss in a few hours. The infection behind a simple sore throat can spread  from  the  tonsils  and  adenoids  up  the Eustachian tube into the middle ear.

Sometimes the tube swells and closas off, or pus and mucus fill the middle ear, immobilizing the three ossicles and the ear drum. If fresh air cannot enter the middle ear chamber through the Eustachian tube to offset the air pressure on the other side of the drum, the drum can rupture and tear so severely that it will never heal.

By puncturing the drum a doctor can relieve the pressure, drain the middle ear, ease the pain, and prevent the drum from tearing and scarring. Untreated infections can also spread to the middle ear’s bony casing where they may settle and cause chronic infection.

Antibiotics can arrest infections, but only early treatment can prevent a permanent hearing loss. This is why parents should be especially concerned when children complain about pressure or pain in their ears.

This is why a child who is the constant victim of colds and sore throats should see a doctor. Some children never do get that tell-tale earache which signals infection.

The potential for children who do have a conductive loss is usually good. With good medical care and a hearing aid they can often catch up and keep pace with normal – hearing children in a regular school program.

Conductive loss : The louder please problem of Hearing damages in Children Article Source - Learning to talk by National Inst. of Health Bethesda , Md ,  document


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