It is important to identify hearing loss as early as possible. Ideally this means no later than 6 months of age. Hearing loss often is discovered when a child is being evaluated for difficulty with school performance or behavior. Even slight hearing loss in one ear can impact a child's speech and language development.
The doctor will ask about your child's medical history. He will perform a physical examination and look closely at your child's ears. The doctor looks for:
Various tests can be done to measure hearing loss, including:
Testing is done routinely for infants and children at high risk of hearing loss. These include children who have:
Many hospitals now automatically screen all newborns for hearing loss. Your newborn baby should have a hearing screen done in the nursery before discharge. Ask for the results. If your baby does not pass the screening test, a specialist should evaluate your child's hearing as an outpatient.
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