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Hearing test for babies - that's why it's so important

Hearing test for babies - that's why it's so important


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Healthy babies already hear well when they are born. Without this ability, they would not be able to learn the language. A hearing test is important to allow the baby to develop well.

Why do babies hear from the start?

Babies can only develop the spoken language if they hear well. The first two years of life are particularly important. In these, the ear and brain are linked and translate what is heard into language. A child who hears poorly or not at this time has problems learning to speak.

Chatter says nothing about the sense of hearing

Babbling babble says nothing about how well they hear. Even deaf babies emit these sounds, but stop because they don't hear their own voice.

Hearing test

In Germany, a hearing test is part of the usual preventive medical check-up. A probe in the baby's ear emits a sound. With a good sense of hearing, this tone causes an echo that can be measured.

Sound signal of the hairs

Hair cells react to the sound of the probe itself with a sound signal that can be measured. The evaluation runs automatically and the test only takes a few seconds.

Basic hearing health

This test can be used to determine whether a child has congenital hearing loss. However, hearing damage can also occur later, for example due to otitis media or noise pollution such as aircraft noise.

How many are affected?

In 1000 babies, approximately 1 to 3 hearing disorders, partly genetic, partly caused by the parents.

Causes of hearing loss

In addition to genetics, there are also causes of hearing loss: infections with diseases of the mother such as mumps or measles, alcoholism or poor circulation during pregnancy.

Not overly sensitive

Children's hearing is generally not particularly sensitive. However, children often do not yet know their limits and are therefore at greater risk of suffering hearing damage from headphones, for example.

Problem in developing countries

Firstly, in most developing countries there are no systematic hearing tests in infants, secondly, medical care for hearing impairments is often not guaranteed. In addition, children with hearing loss are often not supported - on the contrary, the parents are ashamed and do not send the children to school.

The sooner the better

The earlier hearing loss is treated, the better. Infants in Germany get hearing aids very early on, or even implants for particularly severe hearing damage. If this happens before the first year of life, the chances are high that humans will develop a normal spoken language.

Deaf language

Without early treatment, the so-called hearing loss language usually develops. For example, those affected do not pronounce consonants correctly or do not mention them at all.

Author and source information



Video: Information about newborn hearing tests (December 2022).