Early Hearing Loss Detection and Prevention
Hearing loss in both adults and children is becoming more and more common in America. That is why early hearing loss detection and prevention is so important. Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) is the practice of screening all newborn babies for hearing loss before they leave the hospital. This doesn’t mean that it is not important for adults to be mindful of their hearing health as well. As we age, difficulty hearing can also become an issue – which is why hearing care professionals across the country can’t stress enough how important it is to have your hearing checked regularly.
Guidelines for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention in Newborns
Universally standard newborn hearing screenings do lead to earlier detection and treatment. The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (Joint Committee on Infant Hearing, 2000) and U.S. Public Health Service’s Healthy People 2010 health objectives (Healthy People 2010 website, 2002) recommend that all newborns be screened for hearing loss by 1 month of age, have diagnostic follow-up by 3 months, and receive appropriate intervention by 6 months of age. (source)
Benefits of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention in Babies and Children
Children with undetected hearing loss usually end up struggling in school and are often held back in school. However, when hearing loss is detected, babies as young as 4 weeks old can be fit with an amplification device. This type of early detection and intervention can help them be mainstreamed in school and can also prevent speech and comprehension problems.
Importance of Early Hearing Loss Detection in Adults
FACT: One in three people between 65 and 74 years of age have hearing loss. It is even more prevalent after age 75; close to half experience hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss can cause a host of problems for adults, especially seniors. It can lead to isolation, frustration, communication problems, depression, and even dementia. If you are having trouble hearing or understanding conversations and speech, it may be time to visit your hearing care professional for a hearing assessment. Once you are in the care of a hearing professional, they can make recommendations for your listening needs and also explain how to prevent hearing loss from getting worse.