Hearing Impairment in Children with Cerebral Palsy

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					Some of the factors that pose a high risk for hearing impairments among
children are the same risks that a child with cerebral palsy will develop
such as congenital infection, oxygen impairment, jaundice, and low birth
weight among many others. This is why hearing problem is more common to
children with cerebral palsy as compared to the general population.
Recent clinical studies showed that approximately fifteen percent of
children diagnosed with cerebral palsy suffer from one form of hearing
impairment or another. Basically, hearing impairments are categorized in
to two major types which include, conductive and sensorineural.Conductive
and Sensorineural Hearing ImpairmentConductive means that the impairment
is basically in the middle or outer ear which prevents the sound from
reaching the auditory nerve. Sensorineural hearing impairment on the
other hand refers to the damage on the auditory nerve that prevents the
brain from receiving and processing the correct signals. In rare cases,
there are patients with cerebral palsy that seem to have both types which
is known as mixed hearing loss.When the child with cerebral palsy is
diagnosed with sensorineural hearing impairment, he or she may still have
the potential to recover and restore part of his or her hearing. There
are various recommendations that can help facilitate recovery for those
with sensorineural hearing impairment. One needs to make sure that a
visual or tangible clue goes along with every sound presented to the
child in order to stimulate hearing. Providing toys that create sound and
vibration can be very helpful in stimulating the brain. Placing the hands
of the child on top of a speaker will also allow them to feel the
vibration giving their brain the clue as to the source of the sound which
can stimulate the brain to process the sound source.If the child fails to
respond to sounds, the earlier the hearing problem is diagnosed, the
better it will be for him. There are several types of tests that can be
performed such as behavioral audiogram to diagnose hearing impairments.
Other types of techniques play audiometry and visual reinforced
audiometry which can also help assist in diagnosing the problem. Young
infants who are not responsive with sounds can also be tested for hearing
impairment using auditory evoked latency that will measure the lowest
sound level that will produce brain waves in the child with cerebral
palsy. This type of test will evaluate if the child can actually perceive
sounds by sending signals to the brain. The only thing it cannot evaluate
is the aspect of how the brain will process the signal.If the child has
cerebral palsy, both types of hearing impairment may be present. An
examination by a qualified and well experienced pediatric audiologist can
help in measuring the extent of the impairment and find out if the
hearing is still recoverable. As long as the damage is not on the actual
structure of the auditory system, there is a big chance that the hearing
problem can be corrected.

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