While hearing loss is certainty more prevalent in those over the age of 65, it should be taken no less seriously in the pediatric population.
Nearly three out of every one thousand babies are born with some form of hearing loss. In most cases, these hearing issues are not discovered until the child is at least two years old. These first few years play a huge role in the child’s physical and emotional intelligence as well as their learning and communication skills.
Babies and young children are at risk of major developmental setbacks if their moderate to severe hearing loss goes undiagnosed. The only way to identify and treat a hearing loss problem is to take your child to a Louisville audiologist for an infant hearing screening.
Below are the most common infant hearing screenings.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing measures the response of a baby’s hearing nerve using electrodes. It provides their Louisville audiologist with information on their inner ear and the neuronal pathway that connects the ear to the brain. Electrodes are placed on the child’s head to record brain activity in response to sounds. This is a subjective test, which makes it good for measuring hearing loss in children.
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) are the sounds given off by the inner ear when stimulated by sound. This test is used to determine if there is damage to the hair cells within the cochlea by using a microphone and earphone to measure the reflection of a sound’s echo as it passes through the ear canal. Since the emissions are nearly inaudible, a small plug is placed into the ear in order to detect the ear’s reaction to a series of clicks. This test is objective, making it a useful addition to newborn hearing screenings.
Tympanometry is a test of the middle ear used to detect fluid, wax buildup, eardrum perforations and tumors. It measures movement of the eardrum in response to air pressure; the results are recorded on a chart called a tympanogram.
The acoustic reflex test measures involuntary muscle contractions of the middle ear, and is used to determine the location of your hearing problem (the ossicles, cochlea, auditory nerve, etc.) as well as the type of hearing loss.
Figuring out if your child is experiencing hearing loss is vitally important. Contact your Louisville audiologist today to get started.