Hearing Tests Causes, Risk Factors, Signs and Treatment For Children

The belief that hearing can not be tested accurately until a child is 5 or 6 years of age is a myth. The current technology now allows the accurate measurement of hearing in children starting within a few hours of birth. The fact is that 10 states have mandates that testing of hearing be done in the newborn prior to their discharge from the hospital.

Why test a child's hearing?

A child with undetected loss may not be able to develop normal speech and language skills or acquire the cognitive abilities (knowing, thinking and judging) needed for learning. Children whose loss is not identified, for example, 2 or 3 years of age may suffer from permanent impairment of speech, language and learning. The early identification of the loss allows the initiation of treatment and rehabilitation of the hearing impaired child at a very young age. The child can then learn more normal speech skills when hearing loss is identified early and intervention begins. Hearing loss can range from a mild impairment to total loss. Many people think that hearing is only graded as normal or deaf. They may also think that the child is hearing normally if he or she is responding to sounds and voices. However, there are many small gradations between normal hearing and deafness and a child's hearing loss may not be so apparent. It is common for a child with just moderate hearing loss to develop speech and language and yet miss over half of what is being said. A child in this situation will have an obvious disadvantage in development and learning and will often reach a point where advancement stops unless the hearing loss is detected and treatment begins immediately. The stress on a child with hearing loss and their families can be huge because the child does not understand why they constantly struggle to learn seemingly simple material. The degree of the loss often determines the effect it will have on the child throughout their life. However, with early identification and treatment, the impact can be lessened.

Detecting Hearing Loss in Children

The best way to detect the loss in children is to get them tested early and often. It is recommended that you have your child tested before leaving the hospital. Even if you live in one of the states that a hearing test is not mandatory, you can request to have one done and the hospital will do the test for you. You child should have their hearing screened once a year to ensure that if there is hearing loss it is detected early and treatment can begin as soon as possible.

My name is Scott and I am a father of 4 children. I am here to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I hope that what I have to say will benefit you in some small way. Luckily for me my kids hearing is good. However, I did suffer from hearing problems when I was a child. Early identification is key. So please have your children tested often.
By Scott Constable

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