Hearing impaired in kids and new born babies
Can we assume even a single day in our life fully detached from sound and voice? When the question is asked, how a kid learns to talk or learn a language, the answer will be, ‘through repeat hearing of words from elders’. So, hearing power is a great determining factor in the mental and brain development of a kid as well as learning of new things and language. Through observations kids learn a lot. So, visuals give first impulse to kids. Second, is through his hearing capability. So, sounds and words influence a lot in the development of a person mentally as well as socially.
When should we check his audibility power? When should we start treatment if he has problems? Unfortunately only a few people know its answers or care for it and of course, such limitations in knowledge can give a lot of problems to the kid later. Since it’s not a visible thing, most audibility problems are visible only after he reaches 1.5 years. Not only does he speak late, but also he lags backward in very development stage of a kid mentally. So, never hesitate to confirm as early as possible if your kid carries any problems related to hearing.
When should we do the check up?
It’s better to have a check up as soon as he is born. Now, such audiology tests are available at hospitals to check the audibility power of a new born baby. No need to worry about the response of kids to such tests or if such tests give pain. No co-operation of kid is needed for conducting this test. Instead it’s conducted during child sleeps. Normally Auto Acoustic Emission (OAE) and Auditory Brainstem Response Audiometry (ABR) are used. First one is used as a screening test while ABR is a detailed check up.
Audible sound and response
Response of kids to sound is given below. As his age differs, his response also shows variations. When he is an infant, he responds most to high frequency sound (40-60 db). But when he reaches age one, he responds even to small sounds of 15 decibels.
0-4 months: Kid may scare hearing high frequency words and wake up from deep sleep. He may open his eyes and stare at you.
4-7 months: He begins to search the source of sound. He often turns his head on either side to locate the sound.
7-9 months: Now he can turn his head directly to the source of sound. If source is below his ears level, he identifies it easily.
9-13 months: Now he is able to identify the voice clearly below his ear level and on his either sides. Sounds above his head level – he tries to identify.
13-16 months: he turns his head on either direction as well as below or upwards to find from where that sound happened.
16-21 months: Now he carefully notices, even the small sounds above and below his ears and on either sides.
21-24 months: Now he is almost 2 years and responds to every sound around him more clearly and even minute sound pulses.
If your kid is not responding to sound as told above, he may have some hearing defects.
How treatment is done
Through detailed check up it’s possible to know, defect belongs to which category and what its intensity is. According to audibility, it’s categorized into different degrees. Also, which ear, which part, how much defect – all these factors also determine the treatment given. In some cases, some diseases may lead to hearing defects while in others, defects in certain internal parts.
If it’s through infection, it can be cured by medicines while if it’s the case of damage of certain ear cells, medicines have some limitations. If so, hearing aid or cochlear implant should be accepted.
Hearing aid or cochlear implant
According to the characteristics of ear defect, hearing aid or cochlear implant is selected. It’s determined by audiologist. But never assume that he will hear like normal kids, if he does so. Since he is not familiar with normal speech he needs a speech therapist’s help. Speech therapist trains the kid and gradually kid begins to like sound and words. If you find that your kid has such problems, never make treatments late. A kid should be one year old for giving him cochlear implant. Buy hearing aid can be used even if he is only a few months old.
Through this article I have given a brief idea of hearing impaired in children. Hoping you will check your kid’s response to voice with the table given above and if needed, give him a check up as early as possible.
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