While it is true that hearing loss is more common in those over the age of 65, some could argue that it has more consequences for children.
Nearly three out of every one thousand babies are born with some form of hearing loss. Unfortunately for most, these hearing issues are not discovered until the child is at least two years old. This is so significant because the first few years of a child’s life are instrumental in the development of their learning and communication skills.
Without the ability to hear, a young child is at risk of major developmental setbacks. The only way to identify and treat hearing loss is to contact your American Fork audiologist for an infant hearing screening.
Below are tests performed in such a screening.
Auditory Brainstem Response Testing
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing uses electrodes to measure the response of a baby’s hearing nerve. ABR testing provides your child’s American Fork audiologist with information on their inner ear and the neuronal pathway that connects the ear to the brain. Electrodes are placed on your 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.
OAE testing is used to determine if there is damage to the hair cells within the cochlea by using a microphone and earphone. Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) are the sounds given off by the inner ear when stimulated by sound. 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.
Middle Ear Testing
Middle ear tests are a series of tests used to measure how well the middle ear is functioning.
Acoustic Reflex Testing
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.
Determining if your child is experiencing hearing loss is extremely important. The only way to know for sure is to have them tested. Contact your American Fork audiologist to get started today.