What is the relationship between tinnitus in children? In broad aspects, tinnitus affects an estimated 4.7 to 46% of the general pediatric population. Despite children suffering from countless other conditions, tinnitus is can drastically disturb and alter their lifestyles.
In reality, there is no cure for a condition like tinnitus in children. Thus, there are purely preventative, relieving, or conciliating remedies and treatments for children with tinnitus. Eventually, they can coordinate and function, despite the condition, as efficiently as possible.
Overview of Tinnitus in Children
Generally, in conditions like tinnitus, your child might hear a ringing or a buzzing sound. It might occur in one or both of his or her ears. In fact, tinnitus causes children to form a perception that the ringing sound they hear is outside their head. Subsequently, they realize that there isn’t a valid source around them for such a sound.
In simple terms, tinnitus leads to disruption in how the brain receives and processes electric signals. The inner ear sends these signals once it detects sound waves from an external source. This explains the unusual “ringing.”
In the case of children, such a condition can go unnoticed because they feel as if tinnitus (hearing impairment) is not a big deal. This implies the need for you, as a parent, to keep a check on your child’s health and facilitate the early detection of conditions like tinnitus.
Symptoms of Tinnitus in Children
Children experiencing tinnitus are aged between a few months to 17 years of age. Hence, the symptoms you might perceive or receive from them (in the case of a teenager sharing his or her experience) can vary. Despite that, here are some of the common tinnitus symptoms in children:
- Children reporting a frequent ringing or a buzzing sound
- Loss of attention in the child
- Loss of focus and concentration of the child
- Noise sensitivity
- Depression or tantrums from the child
- Irritability, stress, or even fatigue in the child
- Child holding its ears or head
Causes of Tinnitus in Children
As common causes involve damage to the brain and ear parts, there are various other causes for tinnitus in children. Let’s take a look:
- Loud sound exposure (prominently music)
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Excessive earwax accumulation
- Sinus infections
- Ear infections
- Second-hand cigarette smokes
- Hearing loss (congenital or acquired)
- Chemotherapy and similar medication intakes
- Various medications (damage to inner ear or deterioration of hearing ability)
- Jaw joint misalignment
- Ménière’s disease
- Tumors on auditory nerves
Help & Treatment for Children with Tinnitus
Rarely, children with tinnitus (hearing impairments) have underlying medical conditions that further contribute to the deterioration of the hearing ability. Besides, tinnitus is incurable, so looking for a definitive treatment means failing to get results.
However, some treatment options can alleviate the pain, relieve symptoms, and lead to a better lifestyle for your child. Below are a few ways to make your child comfortable and at ease with such an ability-loss.
- Reassuring your child is the first and foremost task because if your child cannot tolerate the condition or stay calm, other treatment methods might not be easy. Ensure to your child that you understand their pain by portraying appropriate imagery or affectionate gestures.
- The severity of tinnitus determines the kind of diagnosis and tests that take place. For example, hearing tests, CT, MRI, and standard-film X-Ray Scans are some diagnosis methods to detect tinnitus in children.
- Chronic tinnitus conditions cause debilitating sleeping patterns in young patients and are incurable as well. Therefore, you can help your child go to sleep or even seek professional medical care and sleep strategies from your otolaryngologist.
- Allow your child to become fully aware of the broad spectrum that a condition like tinnitus entails. With this, your child may develop calm responses rather than fatigue and stress. Hence, this can lead to your child managing a major disability (hearing impairment/ loss) to lead a peaceful and convenient life.
- Educate your child with different ways to manage such a condition so that they can become a normal part of their gatherings and friend circles. Thus, there are few cases of kids suffer from depression or lack suitable thought-processing.
- Hearing aids and noise-suppressing electronic devices are widely available in the markets. On the other hand, your child’s physician might prescribe the use of such devices to alleviate the effect of hearing impairments.
Tinnitus and Children: Conclusion
For one of the best doctors in the field of tinnitus and anxiety disorders, visit Dr. Stephen Geller Katz, LCSW-R, who has 30 years of experience and expertise in these fields. Moreover, he is the pioneer of Tinnitus Cognitive Center™ in NYC and has successfully treated tinnitus patients from all over the world.
Give Dr. Katz a call at 646-213-2321 to setup an online session and pave the way for a healthy and stress-free lifestyle for your child.