• Mayo Clinic Minute

    Mayo Clinic Minute: Can your child hear the teacher?

Checking your child's hearing should be on your back-to-school list. Dr. Kelly Conroy, a Mayo Clinic audiologist, says children with an undiagnosed hearing issue can face both academic and social struggles.

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You know your child can see the video board, but what if he can’t hear the teacher?

Hearing loss on school performance is quite impactful,” says Dr. Conroy.

She says it's especially true in kindergarten and elementary school-aged kids.

"That’s when they’re really learning a lot of their language and speech skills. They’re also learning to get along socially with other children," adds Dr. Conroy.

Hearing loss in children can result in a variety of ways, but noise is a big culprit.

“One of the major issues we’re seeing right now are children that have listened to MP3 players or iPods very loudly for long periods of time,” explains Dr. Conroy.

Besides noise, infections and other problems in the middle ear can lead to hearing loss. And hearing problems can run in families.

Dr. Conroy says a hearing check should be a standard part of your student’s back-to-school routine because earlier detection can lead to earlier intervention in the case of a hearing problem.