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January 26, 2004

Clapping your hands is no hearing test

Clapping their hands is how some people check for hearing in newborns. A more serious approach is called for to provide early detection of hearing loss.

If you want to be certain that your newborn child is not suffering from congenital hearing loss the old fashioned cursory clapping test is of no use. A newborn is just as likely to respond to air movements as to the sudden clap.

A hearing-screening or a thorough hearing test at the ENT specialist are effective means for identifying any hearing loss.

Up to 3 per cent of all infants have reduced hearing at birth. Existing routine checks detect congenital hearing loss at an average age of 31 months, wasting extremely valuable time and squandering any hope of optimal speech development for the child.

More and more countries are coming around to making hearing/screening of newborns compulsory.

Scientific studies have shown that the fitting of hearing aids in the first year of life gives the hearing impaired child an excellent chance to experience normal speech development. Delayed detection impairs speech development. The language acquisition is developed as early as the age of four to six months, making hearing loss detection as early as possible extremely important.

Any parent with the slightest doubt about your child's hearing ability should make sure that a hearing-screening or a hearing test at an ENT specialist is performed as soon as possible.

Sources: Netdoktor and Forum Besser Hören

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