Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is a well-known problem among adults, but there are no age restrictions associated with this disorder. Many children also experience the symptoms of tinnitus. While adults can usually determine that the sounds they are hearing are abnormal, many children 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. Slow-growing tumors on nerves in the face and ears can also cause tinnitus. Bring your child to your family doctor to 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. Unfortunately, many incidences of tinnitus are not associated with a specific issue. 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. Background noise is an effective way to fight back against this problem. Consider playing soft music or running a fan when your child needs to concentrate. Hearing aids can be helpful for kids with hearing loss by helping them filter out distractions and focus on important sounds.
Tinnitus can cause some kids to experience psychological distress. 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 kids 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 kids outgrow their tinnitus without intervention, so it may cease to be an issue. While it may be a nuisance now, with time your child can overcome it.