Unable to Hear

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Taking the congenital problems for which babies can be tested into consideration, abnormal hearing is the most common. Considering 1,000 babies, out of this there will be two to four who will enter this world with a significant hearing impairment making the condition 20 times more frequent than phenylketonuria, a metabolic problem for which new-borns are routinely screened. Estimates for the average age at which a serious hearing impairment is diagnosed range from 14 months to 2 1/2 years.

Here, it only sounds early enough but is not. Even if they were only a few weeks old, their brains were already developing the capacity for language and this was something that people took for granted in the past when it comes to babies the director of the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland said. If they receive no language input during a critical window of time, referring to a time that stretches back to birth, they lose a great opportunity to learn language. In this case, a good chance of communicating normally, either in sign or spoken language by the time he or she begins school, comes with early detection but with late detection and intervention comes a long, dreary game of catching up ahead. Although it will definitely be more challenging, there is still hope even if a child's problem is discovered late a professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder and lead author of the studies said. What hearing advocates want is across the board screening for hearing problems in new-borns and this is the reason behind it.

What the director of government relations for the American Speech Language Hearing Association, a professional group that advocates early screening, said was that it is very important to have infant screening given the baby boom let surge that the US is experiencing right now. There have been several states that already enacted legislation for universal new-born screening programs. What is serves to do is to test the hearing of an adult. When people are placed in booths by the audiologists, they should press buttons and parrot back phrases in response to the sounds they hear. To the hearing of a baby, this is not the process to be used.

A baby's ears can do the talking in this case considering an odd property of the ears that has been discovered and appreciated only in the past few decades. Other than receive sounds, the ears can also emit sounds. There are the outer hair cells in our ears which are responsible for these sounds and they move around in response to noises and this sharpens our ability to hear. When it comes to this, the movements cause the eardrum to vibrate and this sends noises back out into the world.

Humans are not capable of hearing the low level noises made by the ears when exposed to sound. Here, these are loud enough for instruments to detect. Dealing with sounds that are not generated is actually the essence of screening for hearing problems in new-borns. Here, the technicians only need a few minutes to complete the process where a click of sound is sent into a baby's ear and then a little microphone detects any sound coming out. It is detecting anything from mild to profound hearing loss that is possible with this test.

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