The advantages of earlier diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss are clearly documented. Although early screening programs have become much more prevalent in recent years, screenings that do not result in follow-up and intervention are a waste of resources and offer no definitive advantage to the infants and children being screened.
Explore This IssueSeptember 2009
The opportunity exists to offer much more comprehensive screening and follow-up programs. Otolaryngologists can assist in this effort by taking a more active and early role in hearing screening programs and follow-up and by offering their unique experience and expertise. As Dr. Park concludes, “My opinion is that we as a specialty haven’t been that aggressive or as involved as we need to be.”
The National Center for Hearing Assessment and Management has a resource guide available, “Implementing Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Programs,” by Karl White, PhD, and Antonia Brancia Maxon, PhD (available at www.infanthearing.org ), which offers excellent guidance in creating a screening program. However, as stated in the guide, “The real goal of any screening program is to provide better health care services to people in need. Consequently, newborn hearing screening is only the first step.”
©2006 The Triological Society