Hearing loss may be seen in a newborn baby or in an elderly person. That is why Babies born in hospitals undergo a simple hearing test called OAE or ABR to screen for hearing loss, prior to discharge from the hospital.
If a baby has a hearing loss and is not tested after birth, the parents may realize that there is a problem only after the child has grown up. This delay in discovery may lead to delay in hearing/ speech/ language development which may or may not be correctable with age. This is why it is important that any child with suspected hearing impairment should be taken to a center for hearing assessment as soon as possible.
Hearing loss is also common in many diseases of the middle ear or inner ear. A thorough examination by an ENT doctor is a must to find the cause of the deafness. Some tests of hearing as well as radiological test such as a CT scan or MRI scan may be prescribed.
Age related hearing loss is common in the elderly and it severely affects their quality of life. Such persons will usually withdraw into themselves and may suffer from depression as they find it difficult to communicate with their family and friends. They feel isolated as they are unable to follow conversations of their family members. Hearing aids usually provide an excellent solution to their problem. This should be on the prescription of an ENT doctor.
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