Pediatric Tinnitus — What’s It All About

Most people think that Tinnitus — the hearing disorder where you “hear” sounds that really aren’t there — is confined to adults. Nothing could be further from the truth! Pediatric Tinnitus is often overlooked, both by parents and medical professionals. One of the reasons for this is that children will not usually take the time to report this condition on their own. Another reason why Tinnitus in children goes undetected is that both parents and doctors may dismiss the reports that kids give. But childhood Tinnitus is very real — especially in kids who already suffer from some sort of hearing loss — and it can have a very negative impact on the quality of their lives. How many kids suffer from Pediatric Tinnitus? Among children with normal hearing, as many as 12-36% of them may have this condition. But up to 66% of kids with an existing hearing loss may have it! This means that parents need to talk to their kids about their hearing. Good questions to ask them include: Do they hear strange sounds, even when no one else around them seems to hear them? Do they find it hard to hear what their friends are saying sometimes? Do they find it difficult to follow lessons at school because they can’t seem to hear what their teacher is saying? Do they find it hard to fall asleep at night because they hear voices, music, noises, rattles or hums? Do their ears hurt, feel blocked or congested? Do their ears pop or open and close often? Do they have any sort of discharge, drainage from the ears, nose or throat? If the child listens to a lot of loud music or TV, do they sometimes hear sounds or ringing in the ears? If your kids report any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an appointment to see your doctor RIGHT AWAY. Remember that your kids precious hearing is at stake.