(NEW YORK) -- New research published in the latest edition of the journal of the American Medical Association finds screening for hearing loss in newborns can be far more beneficial than waiting until the child is three years old or more. Tests on nine-month-old kids, using technology developed in the 1990's, allows for an improved quality of life.
Before the new technology, screening depended upon input from the babies. That was considered unreliable because babies can experience temporary hearing loss due to colds or could become disinterested in responding because they were bored or sleepy. The new methods involve evaluating brain wave response to sounds and echoes.
Dutch researchers have now found babies tested at nine months have improved social development and motor development, much closer to that of hearing children. Hearing aids and language therapy done earlier in life is credited with much of the improvement.
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