There is a good reason that mothers talk to their unborn children. At around 20 weeks, unborn babies begin to detect sounds. These sounds, including the mother’s heartbeat, body sounds and voice are the major sources of stimulation for the unborn baby. Yet hearing loss is the most common birth defect among newborns.
In the United States, between one and three babies out of a thousand are born with some degree of hearing loss. Due to this unfortunate number, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies receive a hearing test for newborns before leaving the hospital. Without this screening, hearing loss is difficult to determine in the first months of a child’s life. The good news is that hearing screenings for newborns are able to detect possible hearing problems in the first days of life. When hearing loss is indicated, further testing can confirm the findings and treatment can begin.
Babies begin learning from birth, and a primary avenue of learning is by hearing. When newborn hearing problems go undetected and untreated the child struggles with speech, language and social development as he or she grows. Early intervention through appropriate treatment greatly improves the child’s ability to attain good language and learning skills. In response to newborn hearing loss, early detection makes a world of difference in the child’s world.
At Blount Hearing and Speech Services, we remain passionate about early detection of hearing loss and providing your child with early intervention. Contact our office today for more information about our newborn hearing screening and follow-up program, or to schedule an appointment.