Getting help for hearing problems

If you think your child has a hearing problem, you should contact your GP and arrange an appointment as soon as possible. Your GP will conduct a hearing test and examine the child to make sure their loss of hearing is not due to another condition which affects the ear (such as otitis media, glue ear or a perforated ear drum). If they are found to have problems with their hearing they can then be referred to a specialist for treatment.

If you are concerned about raising a deaf child or you simply need more information you can get in touch with the RNID, the British Deaf Association or the National Deaf Children’s Society. There is a lot of information on the NHS website, including links to charities and organisations that may be able to help you; you can also talk to your GP, health visitor or audiology specialist.

If you are diagnosed with a hearing impairment you may be advised to wear a hearing aid; nowadays hearing aids are much more discreet than in previous years and are much less visible. In some cases, when the impairment is caused as a result of another health condition, treating that condition may improve hearing. If the impairment is caused by damage to the tiny hairs inside the cochlea (sensorineural impairment) then a cochlea implant may be fitted; this involves a short procedure where the tiny device is inserted into the ear. A cochlea implant helps to process sound and transmit messages to the brain; it can only be used in patients that have healthy nerves in their ears.

Guide to Hearing and Speech Problems

Hearing and speech

Speech disorders

Causes of hearing problems

Causes of speech problems

How can I tell if my child has hearing problems?

What are the effects of hearing loss on development?

Getting help for hearing problems

Getting help for speech problems

Protecting your hearing

Hearing Test