How to iden­tify hear­ing loss

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

ACROSS Aus­tralia, hos­pi­tal fam­ily units un­der­take uni­ver­sal screen­ing of all new­borns for con­gen­i­tal hear­ing im­pair­ment within the first month of birth.

Lo­cal par­ents can have great con­fi­dence in this process be­cause both Bund­aberg and Her­vey Bay hos­pi­tals have re­cently gained new hear­ing screen­ing de­vices that not only use the lat­est tech­nol­ogy, but are more com­fort­able for ba­bies.

That said, hear­ing is­sues can be ac­quired af­ter birth and par­ents should be aware of what to look out for, be­cause three in 1000 chil­dren will need help for a hear­ing loss by the end of high school.

If your child has an is­sue with hear­ing, it’s vi­tal to have it di­ag­nosed as early as pos­si­ble. What to look out for

This re­ally de­pends on how old your child is.

Be­tween birth and four months of age, your baby should be star­tled in re­sponse to sud­den loud noises and try to lo­cate where it has come from ei­ther by turn­ing their head or mov­ing their eyes. If they’re not re­spond­ing, there may be an is­sue.

As they get older, your child should no­tice more sounds around them, smile when spo­ken to, bab­ble and un­der­stand sim­ple words. By around eight to 14 months they should recog­nise and re­spond to their name, say mumma or dadda (or sim­i­lar), copy sim­ple sounds and use their voice to get at­ten­tion.

From 14 months to two years of age, they will start de­vel­op­ing vo­cab­u­lary, string two words to­gether and fol­low sim­ple in­struc­tions. Are all hear­ing losses per­ma­nent?

Hear­ing im­pair­ment can be con­duc­tive, sen­sorineu­ral or a mix­ture of both types.

In lay­man’s terms a con­duc­tive im­pair­ment is when sounds from out­side the ear have trouble go­ing through dif­fer­ent parts of the ear.

Call theWide Bay Hos­pi­tal and Health Ser­vice child health team on: Gayn­dah ................... 4161 3571 Mun­dub­bera ........... 4165 5222 Monto ....................... 4166 9300 Biggenden ............... 4127 6400 Eidsvold ................... 4165 7100

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