Hearing loss

Page last updated: 06 December 2013

Otitis Media can cause hearing loss.

Otitis Media can significantly reduce children’s ability to hear clearly. Hearing loss from Otitis Media can be:

  • temporary – children with Otitis Media can experience fluctuating, mild to moderate hearing loss; or
  • permanent – severe Otitis Media can cause permanent hearing loss in children.

Hearing loss can have a lifelong impact on children. Hearing loss can affect:

  • children’s speech, language and learning;
  • their social, physical and emotional development; and
  • their long-term education and employment opportunities.

If parents and carers are worried that kids are not hearing well, they should take them to see a health worker, nurse or doctor.

Children usually show some signs of hearing loss. For example, babies and young children with normal hearing should:

  • react to loud, unexpected noises;
  • turn their head to follow noise;
  • respond to familiar voices;
  • be able to locate and move towards noise; and
  • hear barking dogs, cars and sirens.
Baby showing possible signs of hearing loss.

Older kids with normal hearing in a family setting should:

  • respond when they are called from behind or from another room;
  • be aware of signs of danger (hear cars before crossing the road, hear sirens);
  • not be asking “What?” all the time or asking for things to be repeated; and
  • not need to turn the TV up loud.
Two smiling children with arms around each other.
Young girl alone looking sick. Ear disease can cause loss of hearing forever.