Guide to diagnosis and intervention of infant hearing loss

Humans perceive the world through the senses. In all sensory experiences, people promote communication and socialization through hearing, establish connections, participate in daily activities, perceive dangers, and experience life.


Hearing loss

Hearing plays a vital role in children’s language learning, knowledge acquisition and social integration. Children with hearing loss have difficulties in both education and social interactions, so it would be beneficial to have early diagnosis and appropriate intervention.

According to WHO estimates, about 60% of children’s hearing loss can be avoided. If hearing loss is unavoidable, it is necessary to assist children to fully develop their potential through measures such as hearing reconstruction, education and empowerment. To achieve this goal, both parties need to work together and take action.

What are the effects of children’s hearing loss without treatment?

Children’s hearing loss has the most significant impact on language learning. In addition, children’s overall cognitive ability, social skills, life attitude and self-esteem will also be affected. Children who suffer from hearing loss and fail to receive treatment often have poor academic performance, which can lead to poor work performance and reduced employment opportunities in adulthood. Difficulties in communication can make children feel angry, depressed and lonely, resulting in lasting emotional and psychological trauma, which can affect the entire family. In addition, children are more vulnerable in areas where social resources are scarce, and children with hearing loss are at higher risk of injury due to lack of perception of the surrounding environment. From a broader perspective, hearing loss will have a negative impact on the country’s socio-economic development.


Hearing loss in children

According to the sixth national census and the second national sample survey of disabled people, 2010 years, 8502 million people in China, including 2054 people with hearing impairment, second only to the number of 2472 people with physical disabilities. In China, the number of children with hearing impairments exceeds 30 million (the Icelandic population is about 31 million, which means that China is born with a hearing-impaired child of the total population of Iceland every year), and it is the country with the most hearing-impaired population in the world.

What are the causes of hearing loss in children?

There are many causes of hearing loss, including congenital factors and acquired factors. The former refers to congenital hearing loss that occurs at birth or shortly after birth, and the latter refers to hearing loss that occurs during childhood. Hearing loss can be the result of a combination of factors, but sometimes it is difficult to find out the cause of the cut. Possible causes of hearing loss in children include:

Genetic factors: About 40% of children’s hearing loss is caused by genetic factors. Evidence suggests that offspring with close relatives or close relatives have a higher probability of hearing loss. Congenital or auditory nerve malformations may be the cause of hearing loss due to genetic or environmental factors.

Time factors: including premature birth, low birth weight, neonatal asphyxia (referring to the disease caused by hypoxia at birth) and neonatal jaundice.

Infection: Infection with rubella, cytomegalovirus, etc. during pregnancy may cause hearing loss in newborns. In addition, meningitis, measles and mumps may also cause hearing loss. In low-income countries, ear infections such as chronic suppurative otitis media are very common, and in addition to causing hearing loss, ear infections can also cause fatal complications.

Ear diseases: common ear diseases such as obstruction of the eustachian tube (non-suppurative otitis media) caused by embolism (earwax accumulation) and hydrocephalus can also cause hearing loss in children.

Noise: Long-term use of personal audio playback devices such as smartphones and MP3 may cause hearing loss. Noise from short-term high-decibels such as fireworks and firecrackers may cause permanent hearing loss. In addition, equipment noise in the neonatal intensive care unit can also cause hearing loss.

Drugs: used to treat a variety of drugs such as neonatal infections, malaria, drug-resistant tuberculosis and cancer, which can cause hearing loss due to ototoxicity. In many areas, especially in areas where drug use is not standardized, ototoxic drugs are often used to treat common infections in children.


Prevention of hearing loss

The impact of hearing loss on an individual depends on a range of factors, including:

• Age of onset: The first few years after birth are the most ideal period for developing language skills, so patients with congenital hearing loss or those with hearing loss soon after birth are most affected.

• Hearing loss level: from mild to very severe, the higher the level, the heavier the affected.

• Age of discovery and intervention: Early diagnosis and intervention of hearing loss is important, and the sooner interventions are taken, the greater the chance that the child will have spoken. The Children’s Hearing Committee recommends intervention before 6 months of age in children with hearing loss. In addition, early diagnosis and intervention can significantly reduce the educational costs of hearing loss in the later stages of the child and improve their ability to earn a living after adulthood.

• Environment: The overall living environment, including the services available, is also a serious factor. Children who have access to services such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, sign language and special education are more likely to reach the same level as their normal hearing peers. Parental and family support helps children integrate into society.


Hearing impairment diagnosis

National standards and guidelines for infant hearing loss intervention

Since the middle and late last century, overseas developed countries have gradually adopted evidence-based audiological screening methods for hearing screening of children and school-age children. Hearing loss is the most common developmental disorder that can be found at birth. The incidence of hearing loss increases throughout the school-age children due to late onset, late diagnosis, and acquired hearing loss. Insufficient child hearing screening and lack of appropriate hearing loss for children have a profound impact on the economy and have a potential impact on children’s education, cognition and social development. The purpose of early detection of new hearing loss is to (to enable children) to perceive speech to the greatest extent and thereby acquire language skills.

Due to the late development of audiology in China, the field of audiology has made rapid progress in the past decade. All along, China’s children’s audiology standards mainly draw on foreign experience, combined with local characteristics, mainly based on the “newborn hearing screening technical norms” as the main guiding standard, after continuous revision and implementation, but for the intervention of infant hearing loss, There are no national level standards. In 3 this year, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NHFPC) issued the National Standards and Guidelines for Interventions for Infants and Young Children’s Hearing Loss. Since then, China has had its own hearing loss for infants and young children. Intervention criteria.

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Link:Guide to diagnosis and intervention of infant hearing loss

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