Hearing loss is a very prevalent birth defect that can have an impact on a baby’s capacity to learn speech, language, and social skills. Hearing loss may be caused by any component of the ear failing to operate in its normal manner. Before they go home following birth, most babies get their hearing tested as part of newborn screening. If a baby does not pass the hearing test, it is recommended that they see a doctor specializing in hearing loss for further testing and diagnosis. There are many different types of hearing tests, which can help to confirm and determine the cause and severity of hearing loss.
Can hearing loss be detected at birth?
The earliest stage of hearing screening is for newborns. Some infants, on the other hand, may still pass a hearing check while having a substantial amount of hearing loss. Hearing loss can develop later in childhood as a result of illness or certain genetic diseases.
Is it normal for newborns to not react to loud noises?
If your baby does not react to loud noises with a startle reaction or never reacts to your voice in the first months, consult your doctor. Newborn hearing screening is now required in most states, so most parents can be aware of a hearing issue early on.
What happens during the newborn hearing screening?
A trained hearing screener will perform the hearing screening test. There are two main tests for newborns:
- ABR (Auditory Brainstem Response)
- OAE (Otoacoustic Emissions)
The abovementioned hearing screening tests are quick and painless for your baby. The hearing examination is generally done when your infant is sleeping or calm. You may remain with your child while the hearing test is conducted.
What happens if a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing test?
If a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing test, it could be due to a number of factors. One possibility is that the baby has a hearing loss. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including congenital deafness (a condition present from birth) or acquired hearing loss (a condition that develops after birth). Hearing loss can also be temporary, such as when a baby has fluid in the middle ear or an infection.
Another possibility is that the baby did not cooperate during the hearing test. This can happen if the baby is sleepy or fussy. In this case, the test may need to be repeated at a later time.
If a newborn doesn’t pass the hearing test, it’s important to follow up with a doctor to determine the cause. In many cases, further testing will be needed to determine whether there is a hearing loss. Treatment for hearing loss can vary depending on the cause and severity of the condition. In some cases, hearing aids or cochlear implants may be recommended. Early intervention services may also be recommended for babies with hearing loss.
Can a baby recover from hearing loss?
It is feasible to cure hearing loss that is caused by issues in the middle ear with medicines or surgery. Hearing loss due to damage to the inner ear or nerves can’t be cured. The baby’s performance and response to the intervention depends on the source and extent of the hearing loss.