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.