Hearing Loss: Is your Baby at Risk?
At birth, babies undergo a newborn hearing screening test before they are discharged from the hospital. When a baby does not pass the screening, a follow up hearing evaluation is scheduled. A follow up screening must be scheduled as soon as possible to provide the appropriate diagnosis and make certain that age level speech, language, and learning goals are achieved. Even if a baby is born with normal hearing, there are specific risk factors that could result in the development of later hearing loss.
Risk factors for child hearing loss
- A family history of hearing loss that started early in life
- Low birth weight, a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) stay for over 5 days, or jaundice that required exchange blood transfusion
- In-utero problems like cytomegalovirus, herpes, rubella, syphilis, or toxoplasmosis
- If the caregiver has a concern about hearing, speech, or language development.
- A sensory motor neuropathy or neurodegenerative disorder like Friedrich’s ataxia or Hunter syndrome
- A post natal infection connected to hearing loss like meningitis, chicken pox, or herpes virus
- The development of middle ear infections that are consistent over at least 3 months
- Bone structure abnormalities involving the temporal bone, external ear, ear tags, or ear pits
Hearing tests after 6 months
For children over the age of 6 months, a hearing test includes objective and behavioral measures. Objective measures for testing include tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing, Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE), and Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing . The behavioral test determines the lowest intensity at which a child can hear. This testing is typically done using ear phones (if the child will tolerate it) in an effort to test each hear separately. Behavioral measures involve assessing visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA), conditioned play audiometry, conventional audiometry, and speech testing.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in getting your child tested to assess their hearing, arrange an appointment with Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat. Call our office at 732-280-7855, located in Neptune and Manahawkin, New Jersey.