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Speech and Hearing Loss Disorders: Symptoms and Causes

Speech disorders, also called voice disorders and communication disorders, are conditions in which a person has difficulty forming sounds to communicate with others. Due to this disability, the child’s speech becomes difficult to understand.

Also called speech impediments, speech problems happen when a child cannot speak, so people can’t understand what they are saying.

Stuttering, impaired articulation, or a voice impairment that affects the child’s educational performance is called speech disability, or speech and language disorder. 

Common speech disorders include the following:

  • Articulation disorder, or making sounds
  • Phonological disorder, or hearing and repeating sound patterns, 
  • Disfluency, repeating sounds, words or phrases. Stuttering is an example
  • Voice disorder or resonance disorders

Language disorders in children refer to:

  1. Expressive language disorder, or difficulty getting a message across to others, and
  2. Receptive language disorder or difficulty understanding the message coming from others.

The following factors cause speech disorders:

  • genetic abnormalities
  • brain trauma or infection
  • emotional stress
  • damage to the nerves that control how the muscles work together to create speech
  • changes in the muscles and bones that make speech sounds (cleft palate and tooth problems)
  • sensory hearing loss

Treatment for Speech Disorders:

Children may outgrow milder forms of speech disorder. The type of treatment that may be given will depend on how severe the disorder is and its cause.

More severe symptoms of speech disorder, or symptoms that do not show any improvement, can get help from speech therapy. This is training for people with speech and language problems to speak in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

Hearing loss is one factor that increases the possibility of speech disorders. An infant at risk of hearing loss should be referred to an audiologist for a checkup and to get help with any problem. 

Hearing is of great importance to learning and speech and language development.

Some diseases that cause hearing loss for a person or a child include the following.

  • Otosclerosis – abnormal bone growth in the middle ear causes hearing loss.
  • Meniere’s Disease – a condition of the inner ear that causes a ringing noise inside.
  • Autoimmune inner ear disease 
  • An inflammatory condition of the inner ear.
  • Ototoxic medications – can damage the ear and cause hearing loss.

Age genetics and ear damage can also result in hearing loss, as well as very loud noises, acoustic neuroma, physical head injury, and Presbycusis, an age-related hearing loss.

The best treatment methods for hearing loss are medications, hearing aids, speech and language therapy, and surgery. 

Treatment methods may depend on the degree and type of hearing loss, and may include, in addition to the above, the following:

  • hearing assist devices – hearing aids, cochlear implants, etc.
  • hearing rehabilitation (audiologic rehab) – this therapy helps the person adjust to hearing loss and hearing aids. 
  • listening devices – make it easier to listen to the telephone, television or video on a computer.

If you have problems with speech and hearing loss disorders and believe you need help from professionals, you get in touch with Mission Walk Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Centre. Our staff is proficient with any therapy that will address speech and hearing issues. We will be delighted to speak to you and discuss how we can help you.

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