Child Hearing Loss Solutions in Northern California

Dr. Peter Marincovich Audiology Associates Brings Solutions for Child Hearing Loss to Northern California Residents

Audiology Associates has recently extended its Child Hearing Loss care services to its new Mill Valley office in the Shelter Point office complex, 591 Redwood Highway. With over 26 years experience offering the latest technology in digital hearing solutions, Audiology Associates is proud of its comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services it has brought to residents from Mill Valley through Mendocino.

Studies reveal that hearing loss in the U.S. affects about twice as many people today as it did 30 years ago. While the majority of people living with hearing loss are adults who have developed worsening symptoms overtime, over 15% of children in America have moderate to severe low- or high-frequency hearing loss in one or both years. Additionally, early onset deafness can be passed on genetically, and about 33 babies are born with profound deafness each day in the U.S. Dr. Peter Marincovich and Audiology Associates provide Northern California with 4 premier offices offering the latest hearing testing and hearing aid technology for helping children and infants overcome their hearing problems.

As with adults, hearing loss in children is measured in degrees. The loss can range from mild, one that causes difficulty hearing hushed tones such as a whisper, to moderately severe, where the child can still hear loud speech, to a total loss resulting in deafness.

At Audiology Associates, audiologists and staff are experienced working with children and helping them feel comfortable throughout their visits. Before any examination takes place, the audiologist interviews the child and his or her parent or guardian to discuss the possible causes of hearing problems. Next, the audiologist conducts a thorough examination of the child’s inner and outer ear. If necessary, the child then goes through a variety of hearing tests to analyze the type and severity of hearing loss. Finally, depending on the diagnosis, the audiologist provides treatment with the latest technological and/or surgical solutions available.

In all my years of experience helping people overcome their hearing problems, nothing is more rewarding than watching a child’s face light up when he or she first experiences clear sound again.

~ Peter Marincovich, Ph.D.

Hearing loss in children generally falls into 2 main categories. A conductive loss is the most common and is associated with conditions in the external or middle ear that block the transmission of sound. These conditions can include ear infection, fluid in the ear, impacted ear wax, a perforated ear drum, a foreign object in the canal or birth defects that alter the canal. Many of these conditions are treatable through minor procedures or surgery.

Sensorineural loss, or “nerve deafness,” is the second type of hearing loss typically found in children. Nerve deafness is an inner ear or central auditory pathway to the brain issue. Most often, this type of loss is caused by congenital infections, the use of ototoxic drugs (antibiotics), premature birth with a very low birth weight and some of the resulting treatments, and/or a number of other medical conditions. Although there is no cure for this type of hearing loss, in most cases children can find some relief with hearing aids.

Symptoms of hearing loss include fatigue, social anxiety, embarrassment, and feeling detached from surroundings. These can cause severe problems to people of all ages, but they can be especially challenging for young people to overcome, as children may feel disadvantaged amongst their peers during the period of their lives when social development occurs. Children, especially infants, can’t always communicate their difficulty with hearing to their families. Signs of child hearing loss to look out for include failure to startle at loud noises, failure to respond to a someone who is not visually present, difficulty with speech development, sitting too close to the television or speakers, and asking for people to repeat themselves with inordinate frequency.

Experienced audiologist and owner of Audiology Associates, Peter Marincovich, Ph.D., explains, “Hearing loss at any age is an emotional issue. The social stress that children with hearing loss go through at school, at home, and with their peers can cause a powerful hinderance to their confidence and social development. A child that can’t hear something spoken to them the first time around often feels too uncomfortable to ask speakers to repeat themselves, especially when peers seem to understand spoken words clearly. In all my years of experience helping people overcome their hearing problems, nothing is more rewarding than watching a child’s face light up when he or she first experiences clear sound again.”

When a child exhibits symptoms of hearing loss, timely hearing testing, diagnosis, and treatment will provide the best course of action and ensure the highest quality of lifetime experiences for the child. To schedule an appointment in Mendocino, Santa Rosa, Novato, or Mill Valley, contact Audiology Associates today.