Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hearing Test

Jack had his hearing test yesterday. It was at Long Island Jewish Hearing and Speech Center. The first thing she did was a typanogram. That is to check if he has fluid in the ears. He failed. I was thrilled. I was never so happy to hear about a failed test. Maybe the fluid in his ears can explain the poor hearing.

She went on to do the auditory brainstem response test. She had to put electrodes on his forehead and just behind each ear. Then she put a probe in his right ear to test it. This test took forever. She was getting information on a computer. I could see it but it didn't mean that much to me. She had a great poker face, I couldn't read her at all. The whole test too about an hour and a half. Jack slept through the whole thing.

After it all she spoke to me about the results. He had no response in his left ear. Nothing. In his right ear he has severe hearing loss. She said that the fluid could impact the test but she didn't think it could impact it enough to cause such severe hearing loss. She wants to fit him with hearing aids as soon as possible. I asked her if the hearing aids will help him in the ear with no response and she said they do it just to keep the sensory pathways open. She said they will do all kinds of tests in the future to see if he will be a candidate for a cochlear implant. If he is they can do it when he is about one, sometimes sooner.

She wants to test him again next week. When I asked her why she said she doesn't like to make a diagnosis based on one test. She also said he needs tubes in his ears to try to get rid of the fluid. I don't understand why they want to test him again before he gets the tubes but of course I will bring him.

I am meeting with early intervention on Monday. Jack would get early intervention just because he was born at 26 weeks but he will get additional help for hearing loss. He needs to get help as soon as possible or his ability to communicate may never develop.

Obviously this is tough to deal with but I am really not that surprised. I was hoping that somehow he would pass. I am still holding out hope that he will have better hearing when the fluid is removed. I realize that it is very unlikely that it would be normal, but I am hopeful he will have at least something in his left ear so he can be helped by a hearing aid. In my googling frenzy I have found some obscure cases where the hearing was normal or close to normal after the fluid was removed, even though the tests showed a baby was profoundly deaf. So as unlikely as it is there is a shred of possibility, however I am facing reality and moving forward with getting him hearing aids as soon as possible.

Jack getting his ABR. 


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