Send children for hearing test early: Experts

Send children for hearing test early: Experts

Published on: Monday, April 11, 2016

Kota Kinabalu: A team of hearing and speech experts are recommending that parents in Sabah should send their children for hearing test, even right from infancy stage.

The experts said this is important to ensure that children will not be deprived of productive growing years just because they have hearing issues that are unknown by their parents.

One of them, Dr Gavin Coad, said this should be a standard practice in the medical service and can help children who are diagnosed with various levels of hearing issues to have their condition managed well.

“Often we hear parents thinking that there’s nothing wrong with their child. They may think he or she is just slow in developing speech or that the child is just naturally quiet. But what I’m saying is that it’s worth to get the child checked by a doctor,” he said, assuring parents that they have nothing to worry about the procedure for it is simple, safe and painless.

He also said that apart from getting children to be tested, parents must also ensure to return to hospitals if an earlier test recommends further tests or treatment to be done.

“Sometimes people don’t come back because they don’t take it seriously. They’ll only realise something is not right maybe in one to two years. It’s important to manage the condition as early as possible,” Dr Coad advised after presenting his talk entitled “Why Is a Hearing Test So Important For My Child?” during a public forum on hearing and speech connection organised by the Jesselton Medical Centre, Saturday.

According to a speech and language pathologist, Pamela Thomas Joseph, public awareness in the peninsula Malaysia has reached a stage where most parents would have their babies go for hearing test to ensure that they do not have conditions that could limit their ability to communicate as they grow up.

“What we hope to see is that the awareness grows in Sabah as well. It’s a simple yet so important procedure.

We want people to know that help is available and they can get help if their child is diagnosed with hearing problem.

They should do it early and never wait because the child deserves the best starting years of life,” she said.

Earlier, Dr Lum Chee Lun, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon explained to the audience the different types of hearing problems including conditions that caused total hearing loss.

He said there are different levels of hearing conditions that can affect a person’s communication with others.

Send children for hearing test early: Experts

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