People are often deterred from getting them or their child or, newborn, a hearing testing or even a screening because of things they have read or things they have been told by family, friends, or even complete strangers.
Unfortunately there are a number of common myths about hearing screening and testing that keeps people from seeking tests and treatment.
If you’ve heard any of the myths that are listed below, now is your chance to learn the truth and to pass it on to those around you so that they can learn about the warning signs of hearing loss and get a hearing screening for them or a family member.
Parents are the most likely to not understand hearing screening or why their infant or child may need one to rule out risk. Most of these are aimed at parents so that they can dispel these myths in their mind and know that hearing screening is safe, painless, and effective.
Common Hearing Screening Myths
Myth: Parents will know if their child has a hearing loss by a few months of age.
Fact: Before newborn hearing screening became routine, most children were not diagnosed with hearing loss until the age of 2 or 3. Milder hearing loss in children was not usually found until the age of 4.
Myth: Hearing can be tested at home by banging pots or clapping hands.
Fact: Babies and children with hearing loss can be startled by loud noises and respond to sounds. However, they usually lack the ability to hear the proper sounds to develop meaningful speech. Only a hearing specialist can perform the tests necessary to detect the degree of hearing loss.
Myth: People without risk factors rarely have hearing loss.
Fact: Everyone can suffer hearing loss, no matter their age, gender, or risk factors. About 50% of newborns born with hearing loss have no known risk factors.
Myth: You can put off dealing with hearing loss until you are ready.
Fact: For children, early intervention is crucial. Children found to have hearing loss after 6 months of age are more likely to have speech and language delays. Adults with hearing loss risk further loss and hearing damage if they avoid hearing intervention.
Myth: Children under 1 year old cannot wear hearing aids.
Fact: Babies as young as 1 month old can wear hearing aids.
Myth: Hearing loss is very rare.
Fact: Up to 3 babies out of 1,000 are born with hearing loss and is one of the most common congenital conditions.
Myth: Babies require sedation during hearing tests.
Fact: Babies under 9 months of age can easily be tested while they are sleeping and do not require sedation.
As you can see, hearing screening is an important thing for people of all ages, and especially for newborns and young children. For a quick, painless procedure, it sure offers a ton of benefits for the entire population of people.
If your baby or child did not undergo a hearing screening when they were born, it’s always a good idea to go and get them screened just in case. Remember, early intervention is the best thing for hearing loss.