According to the National Institutes of Health, about 2-3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable hearing loss in either One or Both ears and more than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
Hospitals typically perform newborn hearing screenings within 48 hours after a child is born. If an infant fails the screening, they are typically tested again within a few weeks. All children should be screened for hearing loss no later than 1 month of age. If they fail the screening, they should have a hearing and medical evaluation no later than 3 months of age, Treated with hearing devices within one month of diagnosis, and receive early intervention services no later than 6 months of age.
However, not all hearing losses can be detected at birth. In some cases, hearing losses can have a delayed onset, be too mild to detect at birth, or be a temporary hearing loss. Temporary hearing losses can be caused by things like fluid or earwax. In some cases, these hearing losses can resolve themselves, but in other cases, they may require medical attention.
This is why it is so important to seek medical care if you suspect your child is having difficulty hearing. Permanent hearing loss is a hearing loss that can't be reversed by medical intervention. Children can experience permanent hearing loss due to genetic conditions, ear malformations, noise exposure, or viral infections among other things. If undetected at birth, hearing losses can reveal themselves by monitoring certain Speech & Hearing Milestones.
1. Startle at loud sounds
2. Respond to your voice
3. Calm down at the sound of your voice
1. Move his or her eyes in the direction of sounds
2. Respond to changes in your tone of voice
3. Notice toys that make sounds
1. Turn and look in the direction of sounds
2. Turn his or her head when you call
3. Respond to simple commands
4. Understand simple words like Car, Truck, Daddy & Mommy
1. Use many simple words
2. Listen to songs3. Point to body parts when you ask
4. Point to familiar objects when you name them
5. Follow Basic commands
If your child does not meet these milestones, it is time to see an Audiologist. With the help of an Otolaryngologist, the Audiologist will be able to determine if the hearing loss is temporary or permanent, and recommend the appropriate treatment option. Best Practice for treating your child's hearing loss requires an Audiologist to look at the needs of your child and the needs of your family. This is called Family Centered Care.
If your treatment option is hearing aids, then you will have some important decisions to make when it comes to which hearing aids will be best for your child, and Phonak has been a pioneer in the world of pediatric hearing aids. They have continued to innovate with their newest hearing aid for children, the Phonak Sky Marvel. The Sky Marvel may be one of the most impressive pediatric hearing aids ever, due to a variety of new features built upon proven the performance of past Sky platforms.
First, is the AutoSense Sky Operating System. If enabled by your Audiologist, the AutoSense Sky OS allows your child's hearing aids to automatically adapt to changing environments.
Second, is Roger Direct. This may be the biggest advancement in Pediatric Hearing Aids since the development of FM systems. In order for your child to hear at their best, Roger Direct takes speech from someone wearing a Roger microphone and sends it directly into your child's hearing aids.
Third is Bluetooth Connectivity. Providing your child access to utilize technology to its full capacity, is critical in today's technology focused classrooms, and the Bluetooth of the Sky Marvel has the capability to provide sound directly from this technology.
Fourth is the Color Options. The Sky Marvel has 7 different Ear Hook colors, and 7 different signature Sky colors in addition to the adult colors.
Fifth is durability. The Sky Marvel has an IP68 rating which makes it extremely durable.
It is a great idea to openly communicate with your audiologist because it is their job to support you and your child in this process of hearing treatment. It is also a great idea to connect with other parents with children who also have hearing loss for additional support. Ultimately, if your child has permanent hearing loss, then hearing technology will provide them with better access to speech which can help them reach their Speech & Language Milestones.