A study conducted by the Better Hearing Institute, Washington, has found that most children who have a hearing impairment receive insufficient help or treatment, says a statement released by the organization. Among the main reasons is a lack of or improper intervention by medical doctors, parents, and teachers, says the statement.
Among the most alarming findings in the study, according to BHI:
- Just 12% of children aged 18 years and younger who have a hearing impairment use hearing aids.
- Three parents in four reported that their hearing-impaired children’s daily life was adversely affected in other aspects by their hearing loss, including development of social skills, speech development. and grades in school.
- Nearly one parent in three reported that their hearing-impaired children shy away from wearing hearing aids out of embarrassment, fear of being stigmatized, and fear of teasing by others.
- Four parents in 10 had been erroneously informed that their children’s hearing loss was untreatable because it was limited to either high frequencies or low frequencies.
The study was conducted among 225 parents of children and adolescents up to the age of 21 years who have a hearing impairment. None of the children or adolescents were using hearing aids, says the statement.
One common result of untreated hearing loss in children and adolescents is emotional and behavioral difficulties, which in turn, may create barriers for the youngsters in their social interaction with their peers or adversely affect their educational progress, says the statement.