Does your child take a while to respond to your calls? Are you worried your child might be deaf (hearing impaired)? Although babies generally can hear properly, around 3 out of 1000 babies suffer from certain degree of hearing loss. It is imperative that you get the hearing screening done before you bring your newborn home from the hospital. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests that newborns must receive hearing screening before they leave the hospital for home.
The screening test helps to detect hearing capacity in newborns. However, it is sometimes difficult to detect hearing in the first few months. Future tests are performed in case of ambiguity. Treatment and early intervention is a must once hearing disability has been detected.
Hearing Test For Babies – Types
Here, we shall take a look at different types of baby hearing screening tests and how these screening tests are performed on your little one:
- A soft earpiece is attached in the outer part of your baby’s ears in the course of the screening session.
- The inner part of the ear called cochlea produces an echo while the screening is performed.
- The screening test picks up a response. This test is known as the Automated Otoacoustic Emission (AOAE) test.
- The test does not hurt your baby and it takes just a few minutes.
- The test is usually performed when your baby has settled or fallen asleep. You can stay by your baby’s side while the test is being performed.
- Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) is another test that is performed to evaluate your baby’s sense of hearing.
- A tiny cup is attached to the ear of your baby. The sound that it generates helps to measure the hearing response of your baby. This test too causes no harm to your little one.
[ Read: Newborn Screening Tests ]
Why Your Newborn Needs A Hearing Screening Test:
The ability to hear is crucial to your baby’s life. It is important that your baby receives hearing treatment if necessary, so that the young one has no problem with language and speech developments. Below are a few reasons why hearing test for babies is unavoidable.
- Early intervention services in some babies include the use of hearing aids or sign language.
- According to studies, infants who have received treatment at the right time develop learning and good language skills easily.
- If you think you can assess your baby’s hearing ability without opting for a screening test, you are making a mistake.
- Your baby may respond by turning her head towards a sound. This does not signify that she can hear well.
- Some babies can hear some sounds after hearing loss, but fail to develop the complete speaking capacity.
- Your baby can develop her language best when her hearing loss is discovered on time.
[ Read: Apgar Test For Babies ]
What If Your Baby Does Not Pass The Hearing Screening Test:
There is no need to worry even if your baby fail hearing test. The fact is that even if a baby does not pass the screening test, he may have perfectly normal hearing capability. Having said that, here are a few steps you must take:
- Do go for further tests to obtain a clear verdict of your baby’s hearing ability.
- Seek advice of your doctor to schedule further tests.
[ Read: Signs Of Hearing Loss In Babies ]
We hope the article helps you understand the importance of how to test babies hearing ability at the earliest possible stage.
Also, mothers in the forum, if you are looking for some information on related topics, do browse through the website. There are well researched articles on several issues you face with motherhood on a daily basis. Simultaneously, do share your experiences and suggestions with us.
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