Early detection and intervention
The importance of early detection
Early diagnosis is crucial for babies and toddlers with a profound or severe hearing loss.
With early diagnosis, these children can be fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implants and can then receive early intervention from an early age - ideally before six months of age. If deaf children are fitted with effective ais or implants and take part in a good early intervention
programme they can achieve age-appropriate speech and language by the time they are six years old.
Because The Elizabeth Foundation understands the value of early diagnosis and effective intervention, as soon as we were set up 30 years ago we started campaigning
for babies to be screened at birth for hearing loss. We are delighted that there is now a national newborn hearing screening programme so that all babies have their hearing tested shortly after they are born.
Our Audiology Test Centre in Hampshire
At our Hampshire family centre, we have a unique and pioneering partnership with the children's audiology team at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.
Led by Consultant Audiological Scientist, Mr Huw Thomas, Portsmouth has one of the busiest children's audiology departments in the UK screening over 12,000 babies every year.
Most babies have their first screening test where they are born, but many
arrive at The Elizabeth Foundation's Audiology Test Centre for the first screening test, having missed it for one reason or another
at the hospital.
If their initial screening test suggests that further investigation is necessary, children are referred to the specialist experienced children's audiologists working in our test centre. Most babies born with a hearing loss are diagnosed between five and seven weeks old.
The audiology team also conducts tests on children during their preschool years, including children who have been referred to our test centre by their family doctor because of concerns about possible temporary or premanent hearing loss.
From the moment a child is diagnosed with a permanent hearing loss they and their parents / carers are able to access The Elizabeth Foundation's expert support and specially designed baby, toddler and preschool intervention programmes.
Types of hearing loss
For more details about types of hearing loss and the various types of hearing tests we conduct at our Audiology Test Centre, go to the information section of our website.