Children’s quality of life and development vitally depend on hearing. Children learn to speak because they hear others and themselves communicate. Hearing helps your child learn to read, appreciate music, and receive warnings of approaching harm. Your child will have difficulty coping with many of life’s challenges and opportunities at home and in school without good hearing.

The single most important sign of hearing loss in children is the failure to develop, or the delayed development of spoken language.

If children have severe or profound hearing loss, it is usually obvious that they do not respond to sound. Sometimes it is difficult to detect mild forms of hearing loss, including hearing loss in only one ear. Even the more common forms of mild hearing loss, however, can negatively impact communication development and school performance.

Broward Sinus Doctors perform the necessary testing to diagnose pediatric hearing loss in children of all ages. Newborn hearing screenings, Diagnostic audiology testing, and ABR testing are all available in our state-of-the-art hearing and balance center.

Signs of Hearing Problems

Common warning signs for hearing loss include:

    • Family member or teacher concern regarding:
      • hearing acuity
      • delays or differences in speech and language development
      • attention or behavioral difficulties
      • academic performance
    • Inappropriate, delayed, or lack of response to soft and moderate-level sounds: speech or environmental when distractions are minimal
    • Use of “what?” or “huh?” frequently
    • Intently watching the faces of speakers
    • Difficulty understanding speech in background noise
    • Sitting close to the TV set when the volume is adequate for others; increasing the TV or stereo/tape/CD player volume to unreasonably loud levels
    • Not responding to voices over the telephone or switching ears continually when the phone is utilized
    • Not startled by intense sounds
    • Unable to locate the source of a sound accurately

Newborn Hearing Screening

Today, the vast majority of newborns receive a hearing screening before discharge from the hospital. Two types of objective test technologies are used to screen for hearing loss in newborns: otoacoustic emissions and the auditory brainstem response (sometimes called ABR test or BAER test). These screening tests can detect 80-90% of infants with moderate degrees of hearing loss and greater. However, no screening test is perfect. Children with mild hearing loss may pass newborn hearing screening. Newborn hearing screening cannot identify children with late onset or progressive types of hearing loss.

Even when an infant passes a hearing screening test in the hospital, it is important to monitor developmental milestones for hearing, language and speech. If your child was born with visual, cognitive or motor disabilities, a comprehensive audiological evaluation would be important to ensure your child’s hearing is completely normal.


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