DOES MY NEWBORN NEED SCREENING FOR HEARING LOSS??

DOES MY NEWBORN NEED SCREENING FOR HEARING LOSS??
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  • Hearing loss is most common reason for delay in speech and language development.
  • If hearing loss is managed within 1st year of the child, it will have minimal consequences.
  • New born hearing screening is the most important step in early detection of hearing loss.
  • Human hearing starts to develop at 7th month of gestation period. Any trauma to the newborn during that or before that can cause hearing loss.

1. Infections

 Hearing loss can develop because infections that can affect the mother or child or both. These are the list of infections that can cause hearing loss in child:

  • German measles or rubella
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV 1 & 2)

2. Trauma during pregnancy:

Any traumatic injury to the mother or womb during pregnancy can cause hearing loss.

3. Intake of alcohol, smoking or drugs during pregnancy

4. Exposure to radiations

5. Neonatal Jaundice

6. Pneumonia

If you are not in high risk category then also hearing screening is important as many hearing loss occur without any aetiology.  All developed countries like USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New-Zealand, Japan etc. have made Universal Hearing Screening mandatory for all their newborns. In USA, 98% of the newborns are screened for hearing loss.

My Child can hear sounds and responds to noises and other sounds, should I undergo Hearing Screening?

Yes, baby may respond to noises and loud sounds by startling but that does not mean that he can hear all the sounds around him.    

Hearing Screening is done through two types of tests:

  1. OAE (otoacoustic emission)
  2. Automated Auditory Brainstem Responses (AABR)

These tests do not cause any pain to the newborn and can be done within minutes.

What if my baby does not pass New Born Hearing Screening?

Apart from hearing loss there might be reasons that your does not pass New born Hearing Screening like

  • Presence of fluid or vernix in the ear.
  • Presence of too much noise at the testing room

Be sure, talk to your paediatrician to schedule a hearing screening again after sometime if your child does not pass the initial screening.

Get your child screened today!!!!

About the Author

Mr. Lovedeep Kholia, M.Sc Audiology. Done Masters in Audiology from All India Institute of Speech & Hearing (AIISH)More than 12 years of experience in field of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology. Currently working a Chief Audiologist & Cochlear Implant Consultant at Unicare Speech & Hearing Clinic Vikaspuri. Follow this space for more blogs on speech therapy and hearing loss in children on our website www.aloemaa.com

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