Clarksville Center for Audiology
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Hearing Healthcare Resources


Children and Hearing Loss

Why do we test a newborn baby’s hearing?
Newborn infants are screened for several potential problems such as PKU and other genetic disorders. Hearing loss occurs in 2.5 of every 1000 births. It is important to identify hearing loss as early as possible, because babies start learning how to use sound as soon as they are born. Listening in the first months of life prepares babies to speak and for a lifetime of learning.

Children learn much of their speech and language abilities from birth to age five. If a child is having hearing problems, speech and learning can be significantly delayed. Audiologists are trained to test the hearing of young children and, if necessary, determine the best type of correction ­ medical treatment, hearing aids or another assistive listening device ­ for each individual's hearing loss.

The Audiologist will also monitor a child's hearing so that modifications or medical treatment can be made if the hearing changes.

 
Conditions Associated with Infants & Infant Hearing Testing
There are many factors that have been found to be associated with infant hearing loss. A few of the signs you should look for include serious infections (such as German measles, herpes, HIV or ear infection), a difficult birth, a birth weight of less than 3-1/2 pounds, a cleft palate or other unusual appearance, or the need for a blood exchange or transfusion.

In addition, if any member of your family has had permanent hearing loss since childhood, your infant could have a hearing problem. While the presence of one of these signs does not absolutely mean that your baby will have a hearing loss, it does mean that you should consider having your infant's hearing tested by a trained Audiologist.

Hearing is an essential part of your child's development, especially in the areas of speech and learning, so it is very important that any hearing deficiency be diagnosed and treated or corrected as early as possible. Our Audiologists are experienced in the use of the latest technologies to accurately test even the youngest infants for hearing problems.

Often, parents are the first to realize that their baby has a hearing problem. If you are concerned about your child's hearing, discuss your concerns with your physician or Audiologist.