One of the important human senses is hearing, after all it is through it that we hear the sounds of the world. For this, the ear test was developed, focusing on an early diagnosis if there is any hearing problem to be able to provide speech development very close to a child who listens normally. From the womb, around 5 months of gestation, the baby is already able to hear the sounds of the mother’s body and the external voices of the father, mother and family, having this capacity developed as other body functions. In some cases, the baby does not have this function developed by being born with hearing problems.
The ear test or as it is called the test for the presence of otoacoustic emissions consists of an exam where a headset is placed that emits sounds with low intensity and informs the feedback that the inner ear is receiving. The test should be carried out right after the baby is born and is extremely important to help hearing-impaired babies develop language when discovered up to 6 months of age. It is a mandatory exam and must be performed in the maternity ward before hospital discharge.
The late discovery may hinder treatment and decrease the chances of reaching medical goals. Unfortunately, this happens very often in Brazil, where children are diagnosed with hearing loss at an advanced age of 3 to 4 years old. Where a large part of its development has already been compromised by the advanced time.
Are there the Highest Risk Babies?
There are at -risk babies , who, due to family conditions or problems developed during pregnancy or after birth, fit those who need even more examination and adequate follow-up, among which are:
- History of deafness in the paternal or maternal family
- Congenital infection such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, herpes and syphilis.
- Premature and underweight babies
- Use of ototoxic antibiotics and diuretics
In the case of babies who have undergone ICU interventions for more than 48 hours, they are also vulnerable to developing hearing problems. Auricular abnormalities and cleft lip and palate are also risk factors and should perform the ear test as soon as it is born. The test is mandatory by law and must be performed on all babies, those considered healthy or at risk so that they can have a correct diagnosis. The exam is painless, and unlike the foot test, it is not necessary to drill or draw blood, being performed quickly and even with the baby asleep.
Deafness problems can develop over the months, even in babies who are not at risk, especially those who were born pre-mature . Therefore, any sign of hearing difficulties or symptoms that the baby presents that does not respond to stimuli and noises, a pediatrician should be sought immediately for referral and evaluation by a pediatric otorhinolaryngologist. The sooner the problem is discovered, the faster and more effective the treatment will be to help the baby’s development.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.