No child is too young to test!! We are able to provide infant and child hearing evaluations at Blount Hearing and Speech in Maryville. We have specialized testing and procedures we use to test children in all stages of development. Sometimes testing of children can take multiple sessions to obtain all the information needed to rule out a hearing loss. We are dedicated to provide a calm testing environment and create a pleasant experience for you and your children.
When Should You Have Infant and Child Hearing Evaluations?
Infant and child hearing evaluations identifies are important to have. Infant and child hearing loss is caused by things like infections, trauma, and damaging noise levels, and the problem doesn’t emerge until later in childhood. Researchers believe that the number of people who have hearing loss doubles between birth and the teen years. Have your infant or child checked regularly as they grow.
Your infant should have a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. Every state and territory in the United States has now established an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program; the program identifies every child with permanent hearing loss before 3 months of age, and provides intervention services before 6 months of age. If your baby doesn’t have this screening, or was born at home or a birthing center, it’s important to have a hearing screening within the first 3 weeks of life. If your baby does not pass the hearing screening, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a hearing loss. Because debris or fluid in the ear can interfere with the test, it’s often redone to confirm a diagnosis.
If your newborn doesn’t pass the initial hearing screening, it’s important to get a retest within 3 months so treatment can begin right away. Treatment for hearing loss can be the most effective if it’s started before a child is 6 months old.
Kids who seem to have normal hearing should continue to have their hearing evaluated at regular doctors’ appointments. Hearing tests are usually done at ages 4, 5, 6, 8, and 10, and any other time if there’s a concern.
Symptoms of a Hearing Loss in Your Child
Even if your infant passes the hearing screening, continue to watch for signs that hearing is normal. Some hearing milestones your child should reach in the first year of life:
Most newborn infants startle or “jump” to sudden loud noises.
By 3 months, a baby usually recognizes a parent’s voice.
By 6 months, a baby can usually turn his or her eyes or head toward a sound.
By 12 months, a baby can usually imitate some sounds and produce a few words, such as “Mama.”
As your baby grows into a toddler, signs of a hearing loss may include:
- limited, poor, or no speech
- frequently inattentive
- difficulty learning
- seems to need higher TV volume
- fails to respond to conversation-level speech or answers inappropriately to speech
- fails to respond to his or her name or easily frustrated when there’s a lot of background noise
Contact our office for more information about our Maryville infant and child hearing testing or to schedule an appointment.