Children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing suffer from a lower quality of life compared with youngsters who have no hearing problems, according to recent research.
The University of California in San Francisco conducted a study, which was published in JAMA Network Open, that looked at 299 people aged between seven and 18 with permanent hearing loss.
Brooke R Warren, together with other researchers, analysed the hearing-related quality of life (QOL) across the deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH) participants.
They found that those with less hearing loss had a higher QOL score. At the same time, those who had a greater socioeconomic disadvantage typically had a lower QOL score.
This association was particularly felt among those who were between 13 and 18 years old.
While the research has shone a light on the link between QOL and hearing loss, the authors concluded more studies need to be conducted to dig deeper into the connection.
“Future studies should elucidate these modifiable factors to enable multidisciplinary health care teams to provide more tailored hearing loss care and improve QOL in DHH children,” Medical Xpress quoted them saying.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around one to three per 1,000 young people suffer from hearing loss.
Therefore, a significant number of kids are facing a lower QOL than their peers.
The good news is there are several hearing loss treatments available these days, including small hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Children are also very quick at picking up sign language or learning how to lip read, so they can continue to communicate even if their hearing is limited.
At school, teachers can use real-time captioning on videos, voice-recognition software on computers, lots of pictures and graphics, and even an FM system with a microphone for the teacher that amplifies the sound for the pupil.