Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Health Tips for March 18

Health Tip: Have Your Child's Hearing Checked

Children need regular hearing tests to help identify any hearing problems before they worsen.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has issued guidelines for when school-age children should have their hearing examined.

A hearing test should be performed:

  • Before children start school, and each year beginning with kindergarten through the third grade. The test should be repeated when children are in the seventh and 11th grades.
  • If concerns arise about a child's language, speech, learning or hearing capabilities.
  • If a family history of hereditary hearing loss exists, particularly later in life.
  • If there are persistent ear infections.
  • If there are problems with the skull or face that may affect hearing, or an injury to the head that rendered the child unconscious.
  • If there are other factors that could lead to hearing loss, such as being exposed repeatedly to very loud noise.

Health Tip: When Earwax Builds Up

Earwax isn't a sign that your ears aren't clean or healthy. It actually helps to protect your ears.

But if there's a significant buildup of earwax, it can impair your hearing. Fairview Health Services offers these suggestions:

  • Soften earwax with a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, or special ear drops, then wipe the outer ear gently with a cloth.
  • Don't try to soften earwax if your ear hurts, if you have cold symptoms, or if your eardrum has ever been punctured.
  • Never insert objects such as a pencil or cotton swab into your ear.
  • If you have trouble hearing or have pain in one or both ears, see your doctor at once.

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