Newborn Hearing Screening | Common Misconceptions and Clinical Facts

18 January 2017 - By GENWORKS

Misconception | Parents will know if their child has a hearing loss by the time their child is 2-3 months of age.
Clinical Fact | Prior to the universal screening, the average age at which children were found to have a hearing loss is 2-3 years. Children with mild-to-moderate hearing loss were often not identified until 4 years of age.

Misconception | Parents can identify a hearing loss by clapping their hands behind the child’s head.
Clinical Fact | Children can compensate for a hearing loss. They use visual cues, such as shadows or parental expressions and reactions, or they may feel the breeze caused by the motion of the hands.

Misconception | The HRR is all that is needed to identify children with hearing loss.
Clinical Fact | The HRR misses approximately 50% of all children with hearing loss.

Misconception | Hearing loss does not occur often enough to justify the use of universal screening programs.
Clinical Fact | Hearing loss affects approximately 2-4 per 1000 live births, and it has been estimated to be one of the most common congenital anomalies.

Misconception | Tests are not reliable and cause too many infants to be referred to specialists.
Clinical Fact | Referral rates are as low as 5-7%.

Misconception | There is no rush to identify a hearing loss. The loss does not need to be identified until a child is aged 2-3 years.
Clinical Fact | Children identified when they are older than 6 months can have speech and language delays. Children identified when they are younger than 6 months do not have these delays and are equal to their hearing peers in terms of speech and language.

Misconception | Children younger than 12 months cannot be fitted with hearing aids.
Clinical Fact | Children as young as 1 month of age can be fit with and benefit from hearing aids.