Many older people hear the persistent noises caused by tinnitus, however few people realize it strikes children too. Many children also experience the symptoms of tinnitus. While adults can usually determine that the sounds they are hearing are abnormal, many kids assume the noise is a regular part of life. If your child shows signs of tinnitus it is important to look into it to rule out any underlying condition.
Tinnitus is caused by a number of different conditions in both adults and kids. The disorder is linked to wax build-up in the ear canal, problems in the circulatory system, misaligned jaw joints, noise-induced hearing loss, and head and neck trauma. Additionally, tinnitus can result from slow-growing tumors on nerves in the ears and face. Your family pediatrician can help rule out any specific ear problems. If there are not any obvious issues, you will likely be referred to an ear, nose, and throat specialist or audiologist for further investigation.
If the examination uncovers a specific reason for your child’s tinnitus, the issue can usually be alleviated by addressing the underlying problem. However, many children and adults experience tinnitus without a clear cause. In this case, there is no way to eradicate the problem, so your focus should shift to helping your child cope with the sounds he or she is hearing.
Your child may find that his or her tinnitus makes concentration difficult. One way to combat this is to provide background noise. Run a fan or soft music in the background while your child is at home. Hearing aids can be helpful for kids with hearing loss by helping them filter out distractions and focus on important sounds.
Some kids experience emotional distress as a result of tinnitus. In this case it is important to be supportive and reassuring about the condition. Make sure your child understands that tinnitus is a common problem that affects many other children. Ask your audiologist about how you can explain tinnitus to your child in a way that makes sense to them.Some children find that their tinnitus gets worse when they are under stress, so work with your child to find ways to manage stressful situations.
Always keep in mind that many children outgrow their tinnitus without intervention, so it may cease to be an issue. While tinnitus can be difficult to deal with, in time your child will likely overcome it.