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www.wmfd.com - Years ago, babies and children often went months or years before it was discovered they had profound hearing loss, but these days, there are hearing loss tests for newborns, as Holly Firfer explains in today's Health Minute. }}" />

   
 
 
Health Minute Advises Hearing Loss Tests For Newborns

Story By: Larry Stine

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  Original Published: 8/29/2013 Years ago, babies and children often went months or years before it was discovered they had profound hearing loss. If such a loss is not treated early, it can have a negative effect on speech, language and cognitive development. But these days, there are hearing loss tests for newborns. Holly Firfer has more in today's Health Minute. About three out of every 1,000 babies are born deaf or hard of hearing. And, that's why hearing loss testing is recommended for all newborns. "Significant hearing problems are not common in newborns," says Dr. Robert Wiskind, a pediatrician. "But for that newborn, it is very significant." From day one, babies react to the sounds around them over time, by listening to voices, they learn speech and language, which aid in cognitive development. "You can't learn to talk unless you hear well," says Dr. Wiskind. "The evidence shows if they do have a hearing problem and you're able to correct it, then they have normal or close to normal language development." The most common test involves a tiny earphone with a microphone in it. It is inserted into the baby's ear and sends a sound. If a baby hears normallym an echo is sent back. If no echo is detected, then further tests may be done. The test is usually given around 20 hours after birth. It is quick, painless and can be done in the mother's room while the baby sleeps. The goal is to identify the more than 6,000 babies sent home each year with undetected hearing problems.
   
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