The moment a baby hears for the first time

Photo credit: Pixabay

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

How painful it must have been for the parents of Albie Collins to have learned that their child had moderate hearing loss in both of his ears. Yet, how joyful it must have been for his parents to learn that their son would be able to hear better after being fitted with hearing aids. The parents soon observed Albie’s reaction to sounds around him after the fitting. How did he react? He broke into a big smile, and his parents were “left in awe.”

We learn in this article by Gina Kalsi that Albie’s hearing deficit was the same condition his father had when he was young.  However, his father’s hearing loss was first detected in primary school. Thus, it was very likely that Albie’s hearing loss was genetic.

Kalsi notes that hearing loss in a baby may not get detected early on. Furthermore, the article states that one in two babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. That’s why it may be wise to ask for a hearing test before a baby is discharged from the hospital. This was especially true in Albie’s case, where genetics was likely involved. A hearing test can always be done later, but it’s better to get it done soon so families can adjust. Remember, hearing loss can affect speech and language development early-on.  

To those parents whose children are born with normal hearing ability, let them be warned that the loud sounds and noises that are plentiful in our surroundings can damage their children’s hearing. I strongly encourage all parents to become well-informed about ways to protect their children’s hearing, if they are not already. 

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