Most babies can hear just fine when they are born. However, around 1% to 2% of newborns are born with some degree of hearing loss. It is important to diagnose hearing loss early on so that steps can be taken to help your child.

Diagnosing Hearing Loss

The easiest way to diagnose hearing loss is by having your newborn undergo a hearing screening within the three months after they have been born. Infant hearing screenings usually only about five to ten minutes for a doctor to perform and are painless for your child.

Types Of Hearing Tests

There are two main types of screenings your doctor can use to check on your baby's hearing. Both of these screenings can be performed when your baby is asleep.

Otoacoustic Emission Test (OAE)

During an OAE test, a very small microphone is placed inside of your baby's ear. The microphone sends soft clicking sounds into your child's ear and records how your child's inner ear responds to the sound.

Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR)

During an AABR test, sensors are placed on your baby's head and connected to a computer. Then soft clicking sounds are sent through your child's ear, and the sensors measure and record your child's brain waves in response to the soft clicking sounds.

If your child does not pass their initial hearing test, the test should be repeated. If the results are the same, your child will be referred to either an audiologist or an otolaryngologist. Both of these doctors specialize in hearing issues.

Why Getting A Hearing Screening Matters

As soon as your child is born, they learn by listening and interacting to the sounds and voices that are all around them. Your child's hearing is essential to both their speech and language development. Just because your child turns their head if there is a loud noise does not mean that they have normal hearing. These tests were designed to really test your child's hearing and provide you with accurate information concerning their hearing.

If your child does have hearing loss, it is important to treat that hearing loss as soon as possible, in order to avoid delays in your child's speech and language development.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that hearing loss be identified and treated before infants are 6 months old in order to prevent developmental delays. If your child receives intervention before they are 6 months old, they will not experience delays in their language, speech and learning skills.

In order for your child to develop their speech and language skills, they need to be able to hear. A simple ten-minute screenings is all that you need to do in order to ensure that your child can hear and thus can develop properly. Make sure your child's hearing is screened before they are three months old. For more information, contact a facility such as Audiology Clinic Of Northern Alberta.