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December 09, 2013

Babies with low birth weight prone to hearing problems

Early hearing detection and intervention essential, according to experts

Babies with low birth weight prone to hearing problems

During pregnancy, an unborn baby's organs are developed in the womb. Sometimes though, there may be health implications resulting in low birth weight or over maturity during pregnancy.

According to a study, babies with low birth weight and over maturity are predisposed to congenital hearing problems, because of abnormalities in the brain stem.

Parents are therefore advised to have a doctor examine their newborn's hearing abilities right after delivery to ensure early detection and proper management.

Abnormalities in brain stem

Health implications may cause babies to be born with low birth weight or to be over matured during pregnancy. Such conditions may result in abnormalities in babies' brain stems, which may then lead to hearing problems, including congenital hearing loss.

Congenital hearing problems are difficult to detect, but may be corrected through surgery depending on the time of detection.

Recognize the signs early on

Congenital hearing loss can be detected by direct or indirect communication to the baby's ear in order to stimulate the brain stem. Parents are therefore urged to be observant when communicating with the child to detect any difficulty. It may be difficult, however, to establish whether a child has hearing loss or just has trouble understanding.

Parents are therefore recommended to take early intervention and seek medical attention after delivery for early detection and proper management.

The study was carried out by paediatrician Solomon Adeleke, the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada, Nigeria.


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