According to the National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management, every state in the U.S. has implemented an Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program. The goal of this program is to ensure every child born with hearing loss is diagnosed before three months of age and has access to intervention programs before six months of age.
Unfortunately, not all cases of infant hearing loss are caught by newborn hearing screenings. Since hearing loss is an invisible condition that oftentimes is not accompanied by any other symptoms, and because incidence of hearing loss doubles between birth and age five, ongoing childhood screenings are important for a child’s developmental success.
Why Is It Important to Diagnose Hearing Loss Early?
Multiple studies show that when children are not treated for their hearing loss at an early age, they are at risk for falling behind in speech and language development, cognition and social skills. Untreated in adulthood, these problems can lead to low socio-economic status, anxiety and depression.
The Impact of Hearing Devices
Seven-year-old Ziyke Moser from Lehighton, PA struggled with hearing loss his whole life and had to rely on lip reading to communicate. His mother, Ashley, was determined to find a way to get Ziyke hearing aids, despite the fact they wouldn’t be covered by insurance.
Ashley found about the Miracle Ear Foundation from her grandfather, who also received hearing aids from the foundation. “Being able to watch him get the hearing aids turned on and he stopped reading the lips and was looking around was amazing,” Ashley said in an interview.
Ziyke’s audiologist, Amy Buchman, is optimistic about his progress. “He is so young, and to be able to provide the gift of sound to Ziyke… I am so honored. He is really going to start receiving some better speech understanding which is going to help him across the board,” she explained.
Ziyke is excited to be able to hear his teachers and coach, as well as the sounds of the soccer ball when he kicks it and the drop of the hockey puck at games. He chose black and yellow hearing aids in honor of his team, the Baby Penguins.
To learn more about early intervention or to schedule a hearing screening, contact Pinnacle ENT Associates today!