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Neonatal hearing test Eng
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Neonatal hearing test Eng

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WHO estimates that globally the number of people with hearing loss, defined as a loss of more than 40 dB on the hearing loss scale (> 40 dB HL), has more than doubled from 120 million in 1995 to at …

WHO estimates that globally the number of people with hearing loss, defined as a loss of more than 40 dB on the hearing loss scale (> 40 dB HL), has more than doubled from 120 million in 1995 to at least 278 million in 2005, thus making this condition the most prevalent sensory deficit in the population.1–3 Permanent hearing loss can occur at any age but about 25% of the current burden is of childhood onset. Annually, up to 6 per 1000 live-born infants, or 798 000 babies worldwide, suffer permanent hearing loss at birth or within the neonatal period and at least 90% of them are in developing countries


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  • 1. A normal hearing baby should be able to do at 0-3months:Respond to very loud sounds such as a bang.The child may blink, wake up or start crying inresponse lo such loud sounds.
  • 2. 3-6 monthsThe child should be able to recognise themothers voice and turn his head towardshervoice.He should be showing interest in new sounds.He should turn towards the source of a sound.
  • 3. 6-9 months:The child should start making babblingsounds by this age.He will show interest in squeaky toys.
  • 4. 9-12 months:The child will start responding to his/hername.She/he will understand small words such ascome, bye etc.
  • 5. 12-18 months:Starts imitating small words likemama, papa...Tries to imitate words thai he/shehears
  • 6. 18-24 months:Respond to instructions like: Touch yournose. Show your tummy" etc.WilI start speaking small 2-3 word sentences.
  • 7. Hearing loss can be present atbirth,or it may develop later in life.
  • 8. Some causes for the hearing loss in newborn are:Family history of deafnessFever with rashes in the mother during earlypregnancyLack of oxygen at time of birthLow birth weight of the babySevere Jaundice following birthMeningitis or other severe illness following birthUse of medications that can harm hearing in the babyHowever, hearing loss can occur even without anyof the above mentioned causes.
  • 9. There are basically two types of hearing loss Conductive hearing loss Sensorineural or nerve hearing loss
  • 10. This means that there is a problem withthe mechanism that conducts soundfrom the environment to the inner ear.Conductive hearing loss can often becorrected by medication or surgery, andif not, the child usually does very wellwith a hearing aid.
  • 11. Sensorineural or nerve hearing lossindicates damage to the inner ear orauditory nerve. Presently, there is nomedical remedy for it. However, a childmay benefit from such treatments as ahearing aid, cochlear implant andeducational and communicationtherapies.
  • 12. A. Out of every 1000 children born, there may be 2 or 3 such children who cannot hear properly.B. Because there are no visual indicators, most hearing-impaired children who are not screened at birth are not identified until between 1 1/2 and 3 years of age - well beyond the critical period for healthy speech and language development.
  • 13. However, with the help of newborn hearingscreening, a hearing-impaired child can beidentified and treated early. It has beenshown by various studies that in such a casethe child will most likely develop language,speech and social skills comparable to his orher normal-hearing peers and thus avoid alifetime of hearing-loss related disabilities.
  • 14. Yes. 90% of hearing-impaired babiesare born to normal-hearing parentsand 50% may not have any riskfactors at all (e.g. family history,problems during pregnancy anddelivery).
  • 15. A. In normal-hearing people, sounds collected by the outer ear travel through the middle ear to the inner ear where they become electrical signals that are sent to and processed by the brain.B. The hearing of a child can be tested through a simple machine called the OAE (Otoacoustic emissions) machine.
  • 16. A. OAE measures whether parts of the earrespond properly to sound. During the test,a plastic probe containing both a transmitterand a microphone is inserted into theinfants ear. The transmitter sends soundsdown into the inner ear and the microphonepicks up the vibrations the hair cells make inresponse. In normal-hearing persons, theear "echos" sounds, and this "echo" can bedetected by the OAE test.
  • 17. No. The probe of the machine is placedjust inside the ear canal of the child. It isvery soft and comes in many sizes(according to the baby size), it does notcause any discomfort in the child. Thetest can also be done when the child isasleep.
  • 18. The result REFER; indicates that thereis a need to check the hearing again, as aclear response could not be obtainedduring the first test. Test cannot beperformed in noisy environment, whenthe childs ear canal is blocked and s/heis restless.
  • 19. A. In case the child has a Refer result,he will be called back for Resting byOAE again.If he fails the second test, he will need aBERA test (Brainstem Evoked ResponseAudiometry).
  • 20. Thank You Dr. M. R. Ravi For further information do contact ravi.mamparambath@gmail.com