This time of year germs are flying around, mixing with the cold winds and freezing temperatures. These all mix together to create.. COLD and FLU season.. Not good. This is especially not good for our children with hearing loss.
Go ahead and put your fingers in your ears-that is how a child with a mild hearing loss hears. Now, imagine that you already hear like this and we add another layer of hearing difficulty on top of that because of fluid in our ears due to a cold or flu. Children with normal hearing have their hearing affected negatively this time of year with cold and flus, as well. Their ears get filled up with fluid and now their normal working ears are functioning like your ears with fingers pushed in them.
It is important that we are all aware of this at this time of year. If children experience severe pain or have any drainage from the ear, take them to the doctor immediately. This is probably sign of an infection!! They will need antibiotics to clear their ears up. If they don’ t have pain or drainage, keep an eye on their ears. The fluid from a cold may just back up and then go away as they get better.
During the time they have fluid in their ear canals, their hearing will be compromised. It is important to teach our children to not just say,”HUH?” but rather explain to the speaker that they are having trouble hearing because of a cold. They need to be sure to be closer to a speaker, have eye contact and ask for repetition. Hoping the cold and flu season passes you and your family by and that if it does land in your home, it is fast lasting!!
Allison Schley has been in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education for 20 years. She founded a nonprofit for families with hearing loss. She most recently wrote a children's book, entitled Forever Friends. This book shows the how a deaf dog and deaf boy teach the world that all kids are good and being deaf is okay.