Why it is important to take your child for a hearing test?

An enchanting Bharatnatyam performance, live “last-over” cricket skit and a 10-minute feat by a linguist, this is how I enjoyed one of the weekends of May.
These special performances were executed by special kids all of which had one thing in common – they all suffered from hearing loss. This was at the Cochlear™ Celebration event, where not only did I witness the performances but also learnt a great deal about hearing loss and it’s occurrence.

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Hearing Loss in children
Deafness is as serious a problem as blindness. It is very common to get one’s eyes tested but seldom do we think of getting our ears checked for its proper functioning. Likewise, we never suspect our child/children would suffer from a hearing problem or be deaf because hearing problem can easily go unnoticed or is usually given less importance compared to blindness or other health issues.
The fact is, in India scores of kids are born deaf or suffer from some level of hearing loss, it is only wise to intervene early and get them tested by gauging the symptoms.
Babies begin to hear from their mother’s womb, starting from mother’s heartbeat gradually taking in other sounds. It is nearly impossible to know if your newborn is born deaf or suffers from partial hearing loss by just general observation. The young child is equally clueless about sounds and what it is to hear them. A child suffering from hearing loss resorts to lip reading giving an impression that everything is fine until one day the truth surfaces. Here is some reading you can do to find out the early symptoms of deafness or partial hearing in your child.

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Cochlear™ celebrates the joy of hearing
It was a fine Sunday morning when I entered the huge Shamukhnanda hall, which was packed to the brim with a crowd that comprised of recipients, prospective implantees, clinicians and well-wishers of Cochlear Implants. The event in question – Cochlear Celebrations was organised by Cochlear India and ihear foundation to reach out to masses and educate them about how hearing loss and how implants are an ultimate solution to the problem. A lot of young recipients of Cochlear implants shared their experiences, while clinicians busted myths and shared great knowledge. Watch one such successful story of Jehan Daboo, an Olympian, here.

What are Cochlear™ Implants?
Cochlear implants are long term and effective hearing solution for people with severe to profound deafness. Their scope is beyond the reach of the most advanced hearing aids.
Unlike traditional hearing aids that amplify, or make sounds louder, a cochlear implant system can be a more effective hearing solution for certain people. A Cochlear implant is capable of directly stimulating the cochlea hearing nerve, bypassing the damaged area of the hearing pathway. Watch this video to understand the implant functioning better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUxQaO0Ltac

 

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Parental Duty – Testing & Early Intervention. Why is it important?
At the event, an expert panel of doctors, audiologists and pediatricians discussed the vital role of parents in testing and then taking early decisions to bring back sound to a child’s life and help them lead a normal life.
Sharing below few videos where experts talk about importance of early intervention and why parents need to act fast for their own child’s benefit.

Video 1 – Dr. Milind Kirtane, ENT & Padma Shri (2014) and pioneer of Cochlear Implants in India urging parents to get their babies tested even if they appear normal.

Video 2 – How soon can hearing be tested reliably in babies? Paediatric Audiologist – Geeti Char explains.

Video 3 – Dr Samir Dalwai, developmental paediatrician, explaining why testing is important for all babies.

 

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As parents, I believe we are responsible for our child. It’s not only enough to take wise decisions for them, but more important to take them on time. Like we would get worried over minor illness and wounds it is important we get the child tested even if there is an iota of doubt when it comes to hearing. Hearing testing, as explained in above videos, is vital and needs to be done as part of general well-being check-up of the child.

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