Early Hearing Loss Detection & Prevention
Hearing loss in adults and children is increasingly common in the U.S.A. Currently, the hearing screening process begins with screening all newborn babies for hearing loss. This is known as the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. EHDI programs aim to identify children born with a hearing loss before they are three months old, with appropriate intervention provided by the time they are six months old.
The identification of hearing loss at an early age is important. Speech and language development, cognitive skills and social skills can all be more challenging for a child with unidentified hearing loss. This does not, however, mean that as adults we should be complacent about hearing screenings. Just as in childhood, untreated hearing loss in adults can have wider repercussions that just an inability to hear. At Family Audiology, our hearing care professionals urge adults to have their hearing checked regularly, ideally once a year.
Why Is Early Hearing Loss Detection & Prevention Important?
Hearing professionals agree, the earlier that hearing loss is identified, the sooner treatment can begin. This leads to a better outcome for the patient. Children with untreated hearing loss, as mentioned above, can have difficulty keeping up with their peers during fundamental stages of language and speech development. If left untreated, this can have longer-lasting implications into adulthood. Reduced socio-economic status, depression and poor socialization skills can result from untreated hearing loss in babies and children.
Early childhood screening is also common, as not all hearing loss can be identified at birth. This process of ongoing screenings is important, as hearing loss is not a visible condition. A newborn passing the initial hearing screening does not guarantee that they won’t develop progressive and/or late onset hearing loss. It is for this reason that regular hearing screenings for children is recommended.
Early Hearing Loss Detection in Adults
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) notes: “One in eight people in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears, based on standard hearing examinations.”
When left untreated, hearing loss in adults can have wide reaching repercussions. It can cause social isolation, communication problems and frustration. There is also increasing evidence of links between untreated hearing loss and Alzheimer’s Disease. Just as in children, early hearing loss detection in adults provides the best chances of treatment. If you suspect that you may have hearing loss, it is time to book in an appointment with your hearing care professional. They will be able to establish your baseline hearing, monitor your hearing for any chances, and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for you.
Come in and See the Experts at Family Audiology
Still have questions about hearing loss and the importance of early detection? We are here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of certified hearing care professionals at Family Audiology.