Hearing Screening That Can Prevent Later Development Of Detr

Danielle Magid

Hearing screening that can prevent later development of detrimental deficiencies1

Are you listening to everything Wrightson has to say?

In this article by, A. Stevens Wrightson, a MD from University of Kentucky, states that having your child screened for hearing impairments is more important than we think. Wrightson states in his article that 1 out of every 1,000 baby develops a hearing impairment, but that new research is indicating that it could more likely two or three per 1,000 births. In addition, he warns that, “If congenital hearing loss is no recognized and managed, a child’s speech, language, and cognitive development are often severely delayed” (p. 1349). Wrightson goes on to talk about the four different types of hearing loss, which are: conductive, sensorineural, mixed, and central. What Wrightson states to be the cause of these four hearing impairments is genetics. He states the 50 percent of the time a hearing loss is hereditary. To think of this in numbers, 6,000 to 8,000 newborns will possess clinical symptoms, and with those numbers 75 percent of them will cultivate sensorineural hearing loss.

What Wrightson proposes

Universal newborn hearing screening is composed of two idea theories, “a critical period exists for optimal language skills to develop, and earlier intervention produces better outcomes” and “treatment of hearing defects has been shown to improve communication” (p.1349). What the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening consists of is two tests, one called automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) and the other transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TWOAE) test. Wrightson believes, that children should be screened at birth but also throughout childhood, which means testing children every six months until they reach the age of three years old. Wrightson recommends these two screenings because AABR “tests the auditory pathway from the external ear to the lower brainstem” (p. 1350), while the TEOAE test, “evaluates the function of the peripheral auditory system, primarily the cochlea, which is the most often involved in sensorineural hearing loss” (p. 1351). These two tests, combined, help to determine if intervention is needed, especially when it can help to enhance language, cognitive, and social outcomes in hearing impaired children.