When your child is born in a hospital, they are generally taken for an infant hearing test. This test is used to ensure that any hearing issues that your baby may have are identified right away. Here are three things that you need to know if your infant failed their hearing test.
#1 A Follow-Up Will Be Necessary
There are many reasons, beyond actually having hearing loss, that an infant may fail their hearing test. If your baby is tired, hungry or needs to be changed, they may not respond appropriately to the hearing test.
Since most babies are tired, sleepy or hungry often, most hospitals will recommend that you have a follow up hearing test done. You should have a follow-up hearing test done within the first week of your baby's life if they failed their initial screening as it is vitally important that hearing issues are identified and dealt with immediately.
#2 Your Child May Need Hearing Aids
If it is determined at your child's follow up appointment that they do indeed have hearing loss, they will most likely need to be equipped with hearing aids. Hearing aids for babies are designed to fit snuggly in their ear and are designed in such a fashion that make it difficult for your baby to pull out their hearing air. Hearing aids are also shaped in a way that should make it difficult for your child to pick up and attempt to eat or swallow, which is vitally important since babies love to put things in their mouths.
Your child's hearing aids will be designed to shape and amplify sounds so that your child's brain can correctly process them in their auditory cortex. If your child only has slight hearing loss, this should make their hearing more like that of a baby with normal hearing. If your child has severe hearing loss, the hearing aids will help them hear more clearly but will not give them the exact same level of hearing as a child without hearing loss. Your child should be able to hear your voice and sounds around it, but they may struggle with hearing sounds that are far away as well as muffled voices.
#3 Immediate Action Is Vital
Every day your baby is making new connections in their brain. Each sight and sound that they experience, and everything they touch, helps their brain build new pathways. Babies literally make thousands of new connections in their brains every day. The connections that your baby is making in their brain right now will help them learn how to speak, listen and learn as they get older.
Each day that your child is not able to hear properly is another day that your child's brain is not making new pathways connected to sound and is another day that your child's auditory cortex is not getting the simulation that it needs to grow and develop so that your child can understand both receptive and reflective language. As your child's brain is constantly growing, it is vital that you help your child get hearing aids right away so their brain can develop as it was attended to.
If your child has hearing loss, this is an issue you will have to deal with for the rest of your child's life, so make sure that you feel comfortable discussing your child's hearing issues with their audiologist so you can best support your child's unique hearing needs. For more informaiton, see a website such as http://www.drmarkmontgomery.com.