Assessments Available to Evaluate Newborn Auditory Function

Statistics indicate that every year, in the U.S. alone about 12,000 babies have permanent hearing loss. As per the statistics available with the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, the most common defect at birth, three out of e

very thousand, is hearing loss of one kind or the other. You can get the best free hearing test information by visiting this website.

Hearing can be of such different types that it need not necessarily indicate deafness but could be as simple as a very mild feeling of unease. Hearing aids and therapy of some kind is quite common in children with hearing loss.

When other treatments prove ineffective, cochlear implants provide a very comforting solution to those with hearing loss. Even when some part of the ear is damaged and is unable to register sounds amplified by hearing aids the auditory nerve responds to cochlear implants. Complete restoration of hearing is still not possible with any of these devices.

Doctors will always prefer babies being screened. The first few months of a baby?s life can be very critical in developing language skills and hence the chosen therapies need to be started within the first six months. As a person looking for free hearing test Epping you should visit that site.

Screening of newly born babies for hearing loss is now possible immediately after birth. New procedures are so good that if hearing loss is detected in new born babies within the first six months, their language development can still proceed normally.

Hearing loss is usually detected in children when they are between 22 and 26 months of age. Hearing defects get identified quite by chance when parents and caregivers report speech related problems or language development issues.

It

is now possible to screen all newborn babies for hearing loss even before they leave the hospital.

Otacoustic Emissions are proving a boon for newborn babies who might have hearing problems. A soft probe delivers sounds directly into the ear canal. A microphone which is placed in the same probe receives the echo which the inner produces. What used to take 10 minutes to screen each using a conventional procedure now takes merely 10 seconds.

From the results of the OAE, those babies who seem to have hearing problems, are given the Auditory Brainstem Response test. Three painless electrodes are attached to the baby?s head and shoulders to measure the hearing nerve?s response to sounds delivered by a throwaway earphone.

It takes only 15 minutes per ear.

Both these tests require that the babies must be asleep throughout the duration of the test. Around the age of 2 years, speech problems or poor progress on the language development front raises suspicions about hearing problems.

Screening all babies will enable medical experts to attend to those who need further tests and treatment. With this approach, children will be able to develop their language skills at school and spend the rest of their lives in a near normal manner.

Diagnostic testing by an audiologist is necessitated in the case of babies who fail both these tests. Diagnostic testing by an audiologist becomes essential in the case of about 2 percent of the babies.

Two year old infants can also be given amplification equipment to tide over their hearing loss. Children can develop normally if such help is available early.

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