When a baby is born, there are many checks and tests conducted by the hospital staff to see if everything is all right and to determine if any special medical treatment will be needed. Depending on the hospital, one of these tests can be an infant hearing screening. Because these screenings use subtle responses to detect an auditory deficiency, they are not always 100 percent accurate. However, they can be instrumental in letting the concerned parents know early on whether they should take their child into a hearing center for further testing.Infant screenings are an important advance when you consider the number of people who have been held back in their childhood or even early adulthood because no one detected an auditory impairment early enough. A lot of emotional and psychological damage can occur in someone who has an undetected disability. They can miss out on opportunities they would have had if they had gotten fitted for a hearing device at an early age. Infant hearing screenings can be done one of two ways. The otoacoustic emission test, or OAE test, can detect inner ear deafness. When sound goes into our ears, OAEs reverberate from healthy inner ear components. If no OAEs are detected in the baby’s ear when the sound is played, there may be damage or deformity in the inner ear, which would denote a hearing problem.The other test is called the ABR or auditory brainstem response test. For this test, small adhesive receptors are placed on the infant’s head, and a sound is played. The receptors can gauge the amount of reactive activity in the brain. If there is little to no activity, it is likely that the baby did not actually hear anything and should be further monitored for a hearing impairment.Whether or not your newborn was tested, there are some signs to be aware of that often indicate deafness in an infant. If the baby shows no alarm when a loud, sudden sound occurs, such as a door slamming or a fire alarm, there might be a problem. Similarly if a baby shows no soothed response to a comforting sound like bedtime music or a familiar voice, you may want to seek out a hearing center that specializes in children for a testing. Treatment should be introduced as soon as any sign of hearing impediment is detected. Babies begin to learn language long before they begin to really speak, and they do that through listening. A toddler who has spent his entire infancy deaf will have a very hard time picking up language and may need to go to a special preschool or kindergarten to learn the basics. Because a small baby cannot communicate clearly, very special care must be taken when getting fitted for an infant auditory aid. You may want to ask your hospital to recommend a pediatric hearing center so that the device can be adjusted properly and you can be educated on how to care for and get your child used to the aid.
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If your infant is experiencing hearing difficulties, it is imperative to get him or her tested at a Lancaster PA hearing center as soon as possible. Visit the following for more information: http://www.miracle-ear-lancaster.com.
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