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Early hearing screening as part of prevention of speech impairment (part 1)

According to WHO estimates, about 466 million people worldwide experience serious hearing impairment, while another 500 million have less severe impairments, which nevertheless affect their functioning. The forecasts are disappointing, apparently, these figures will increase. The annual cost of inconclusive treatment for hearing loss, according to the same WHO, is $ 750 billion. Obviously, measures are needed that would be able to solve the problem, first of all, at the local, national and continental level, and then at the global level.

hearing and speaking in children
WHO focuses on the magnitude of the problem of hearing loss and the consequences of not receiving effective care for this pathology, and also proposes solutions that could reduce the severity of the problem. Thus, WHO calls on medical representatives in governments, as well as relevant government agencies to strengthen measures to detect and treat hearing loss with cost-effective effective screening programs, using modern e-health technologies and tools. WHO emphasizes the need for active participation in this of the patients themselves, their training, an explanation of the importance of preventive measures, and monitoring. Attention is drawn to the social consequences of communication disorders, their impact on the emotional and intellectual development of a person, which subsequently affects the economic and social situation on a national scale.

Hearing impairment becomes a disease of civilization. It is known that it is hearing that is the key to the quality of communication in society and affects the development of the information flow. Deviations in the functioning of the hearing organ are one of the main causes of developmental delay, they impede the acquisition of speech skills and thereby interfere with human participation in society. The sheer magnitude of the problem should prompt measures to be taken as soon as possible to ensure more rapid detection of hearing impairment, their treatment and rehabilitation of the patient.

Hearing is one of the most important tools for the development of a child. Hearing problems cause abnormalities in psychomotor and emotional development. The lack or lack of information obtained through hearing at an early stage of a child’s development seriously limits, and sometimes completely blocks, speech development. It is characteristic that in many cases, hearing loss, detected at an early age, can be successfully corrected. An early diagnosis allows you to start treatment and rehabilitation on time, without starting a pathology, so screening programs are an important element in solving the problem. For the first time, hearing screening in newborns began in Poland more than 20 years ago under the guidance of Professor Maria Guraliuvna, later a large-scale medical examination was conducted in the 90s of the 20th century. Auditory screening programs have been developing for a long time in different countries, as well as treatment abroad.

The auditory screening of newborns in many countries has solved the problem of early diagnosis of congenital hearing impairment. According to data obtained from such surveys in Poland and other countries, it was found that from 2 to 7 (according to other estimates, in 1-3) newborns out of 1000 have congenital auditory disorders. The idea of ​​such screening belongs to the International Center for Hearing and Speech, and is promoting it in Europe, and not only.

According to the data obtained, 20–40 out of 1000 babies requiring intensive care subsequently suffer from deafness or severe hearing impairment. Such deviations can develop in the prenatal period (prenatally), during childbirth (perinally) and after birth (postnatally).

Auditory screening of newborns and young children is a standardized procedure for the objective examination of auditory function, which aims to quickly and accurately identify children with hearing impairment or a high risk of their occurrence.

Taking into account the extreme importance and social significance of early diagnosis and treatment of hearing impairment, the auditory screening program for all newborns has been put into action in more than 50 countries around the world. Hearing screening of newborns is a mandatory element of the program for early correction of auditory disorders in children, which aims to improve the quality of life of these children by preventing delays in the development of speech, secondary speech disorders, low school performance and the occurrence of psychoemotional abnormalities.

The Joint Commission on Hearing Aid in Children (USA) in 2007 developed Standards for the Program for the Early Detection and Correction of Hearing Disorders, which are now generally accepted.

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