The Craniofacial Center audiologists perform hearing evaluations and monitor any hearing problems during the craniofacial team visits or on a more frequent basis if needed. Newborn infants should have hearing evaluations soon after birth.
Why is an audiology evaluation important?
Studies confirm that between 95.5 and 100 percent of infants born with cleft palate have fluid present in the middle ear space at birth. This condition, known as middle ear effusion, can exist for several years if left untreated.
Normally, the middle ear space, if free of fluid, is filled with air through which sound passes from the vibrating eardrum to the tiny bones in the middle ear. The sounds are then programmed as meaningful sounds through the nervous system to the brain.
When the middle ear does not drain fluid sufficiently, this interferes with the "conduction of the sound" in the middle ear space, and can prevent normal hearing development.
Probably, the most significant impact caused by the inability to hear normally is an adverse impact on development of speech and language. Good hearing is essential to speech and language, and the social and intellectual development of infants and young children.
Adults use their hearing to communicate with other people. Very young children, meanwhile, use their hearing to develop speech and language skills in order to communicate. Any amount of hearing loss in a child can make the learning of speech and language difficult.
Craniofacial Center Pediatric Audiologists
The audiologist is an important member of the craniofacial team. They will be able to test your child's hearing and identify if your child has any hearing loss, regardless of the child's age.