The critical impact of hearing loss on a child’s ability to communicate means it is essential to identify any existing problems at the earliest age possible. One method of identifying hearing loss in infants up to 7 months of age is known as behavioral observation audiometry. Conducted by a specially trained audiologist, these observations involve scrutinizing a child’s behavior when presented with a variety of sounds. Noises made by chimes, bells, scrunched cellophane, and other objects are used during the test, and the child is then monitored for any change in behavior. The audiologist will look for behavioral responses like awakening from sleep, startling, widening of the eyes, bodily movement and turning of the head. Even changes in breathing patterns or the rate a child sucks on a pacifier can be signs of sound perception.
Although these tests often present immediate and compelling results, it is important to conduct them in concurrence with other auditory tests. The sooner a child’s hearing loss is identified, the less chance he or she has of experiencing a delay in learning or communicating. For this reason, it is important to schedule an appointment with an audiologist who can help you rule out or more closely investigate any issues with your child’s hearing. By using your True Dental Discounts membership, you can get significant savings on high-quality care.