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Parents often don’t deem it important to go for hearing testing for toddlers. However, it could actually rule out a number of problems associated with the ears, including tinnitus. Learn more about this disorder and what course of action you need to follow.
There are times when you might hear a sudden ringing in the ear. Most often, it subsides within a few seconds. But, there actually exists a disorder in which a person is bogged by a persistent ringing or some other kind of noise. Known as tinnitus, this disorder is common in both children and adults.
What is Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tinnitus is also known as a ringing in the ear and refers to a condition in which a child can hear a noise that’s not caused by an external source. Though known as ringing of the ear, the noise could also be something like a buzzing, humming, chirping or whistling. It may vary in intensity and frequency. While some toddlers hear it continuously, others hear it intermittently.
Causes of Tinnitus in Toddlers
- Exposure to loud noise for a long time
- Ears getting blocked due to wax or sinus infection
- Side effects of a drug
- Disease of the inner ear
- Injuries to the head or neck
- Misalignment of the jaw bones
- Bone growth in the mid ear region
Tinnitus Symptoms in 15 Months Old
Toddlers suffering from tinnitus might consider the persistent noise to be normal and are unlikely to complain about it. You need to make the effort to look out for certain signs of tinnitus in toddlers. These include:
- Discharge from the ear
- Distracted or anxious behaviour
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
If you notice any of the signs, book an appointment with the doctor. She may do a routine checkup to see if the problem is caused due to inflammation of the ear. If she finds no such problem, she might refer you to an otologist or an otolaryngologist, who specialises in such disorders.
Diagnosis of Tinnitus
The doctor may recommend a few hearing tests as well as nerve tests to zero in on the underlying problem. She may also recommend an MRI scan to check if the condition is due to a misalignment or abnormal growth in the ear.
Treatment for Tinnitus
Tinnitus can be easily cured by treating the underlying cause of the noise. However, most times, there’s no known cause. In such cases, the doctor may recommend alternative therapy to help deal with the constant ringing in the ear. One such is sound therapy. It involves subjecting the child to hear continuous background noises. It makes the persistent ringing less noticeable and with time, the toddler hardly notices it. For the hearing impaired, doctors recommend hearing aids.
Tinnitus in children is fairly common and can be treated. However, if left unchecked, it could lead to more serious implications like stress, anxiety disorders and other psychological issues. Keep an eye for the signs that may be indicative of the problem and have your child checked if you see any.