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Gina Diaz, AuD, CCC-A
Identifying Hearing Loss In Newborns What Parents Need To Know
Freedom Hearing Center LLC
. https://freedomhearing.com/

Identifying Hearing Loss In Newborns What Parents Need To Know

For most parents communicating the results of a screening test is more than just saying that their child has passed or failed. Parents need to know the answers to the following questions

1. Why are newborn hearing screenings important?

2. How are the screenings performed?

3. What do the results mean?

4. If their child does not pass the newborn hearing screening what's the next step?

It is estimated that every one to three per 1,000 infants born in well-baby nurseries are diagnosed with a hearing impairment. In an attempt to help identify hearing loss early, a universal newborn hearing screening program was implemented in the United States in the early 1990's and mandated that every infant have their hearing screened prior to discharge.

If your child does not pass the initial newborn hearing screening, it does not necessarily mean your child has a hearing loss. He/she may have some fluid/debris in his/her ears due to the birthing process.

He/she should be re-screened in approximately two weeks by an audiologist who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating individuals of all ages with hearing loss and balance disorders. More specifically, they are trained to help families make informed decisions and advocate for their children regarding their hearing health.

It is important that every baby is screened prior to discharge and parents/caregivers follow through with the outpatient re-screening/diagnostic evaluation. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing states that all babies should be screened before one month of age, diagnostics should be completed before three months of age, and early intervention should be initiated before six months of age.

It has been shown that when a child receives early intervention services they are able to develop speech and language as their normal hearing peers. Early Intervention Programs are available to meet the need of the infant and family by providing family support, technology decisions, and communication choices.

It should be noted that hearing loss can occur at any time. If your child is not meeting developmental milestones you should schedule a full audiologic evaluation.

Lastly, if your child starts to show signs of ear infections (tugging on the ear(s), increased irritability, difficulty sleeping, and/or fever), take him/her to the doctor immediately an ear infection or fluid in his/her ears could cause temporary hearing loss.

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