Imagine if you were to experience hearing loss right now? How would you communicate with others let alone understand what's going on around you? Sounds challenging doesn't it?
Now imagine that happening to your child.
The most common cause of hearing loss amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, infants and young children is Otitis Media.
Otitis Media - Inflammation of the middle ear, occurring commonly in children as a result of infection and often causing pain and temporary hearing loss.
The middle ear is typically full of air but sometimes fluid can get trapped in there and cause sick ears. Fluid is normally drained away by what's called "eustachian tubes" (pronounced you-station).
“The common cold and runny noses is really where it all starts,” says Wendy Pierce, a senior audiologist with Hearing Australia.
“We know that the eustachian tube is more horizontal, much flatter in little children because their head is much smaller. So if there is a little bit of fluid it wouldn’t drain that out nearly as well,” she said.
For this reason, Wendy urges parents, carers of young children to have their kids ears checked regularly by the hearing health worker, nurse or GP or local community health service.