Why Is Hearing Needed?
Sound is important to deaf children and people because most have some natural hearing to use for listening to speech, music and daily sounds at home and at school. With today’s digital hearing-devices and family-based home teaching, most deaf infants can learn to hear and to speak with some guidance from professionals.
Hearing aids and cochlear implants are the best ways for deaf children and people to use their residual hearing and to share sound with their families and friends. Full hearing isn’t always restored with digital hearing-devices, but the sound is a benefit at school, in social situations, at playtime, for sports, at work and for everyday safety.
Seeing a private service provider is an option if waiting lists for hearing tests at local health centres are too long.
In Ireland, families seeking private hearing tests for infants and children are advised to contact one of these clinics.
- Beacon Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin 18.
- Diagnostic Audiology Services, Beacon Clinic, Sandyford, Dublin 18.
- Crumlin Hospital has a private clinic that does pediatric hearing-tests (internal referral, only)
- The Eye and Ear Hospital, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.
- The Hermitage Medical Clinic, Old Lucan Road, Dublin 20.
How Many Deaf People In Ireland?
Ireland has about 800,000 people with some level of hearing loss. This includes the country’s senior population and only 1,077 Deaf native ISL users (CSO, Census 2011), or 0.1% of the entire deaf population (that’s zero point one per cent).
About 3,300 deaf/hard-of-hearing children are currently in Ireland’s education system. Of this total, 90% attend mainstream schools, with 10% going to specialist schools and under 4% using sign language (#NCSE, 2011).
Top Question: Is my baby deaf? Possible indicators to look for.
Apps For Hearing Tests
Parents home-testing a child’s hearing can use the Sound Scouts app, based on a test used by audiologists.
Specific apps like this one from Aston University detect if glue ear is present, while indicating its potential severity.
Hearing Tests in Ireland
Free hearing tests are available to eligible citizens in Ireland through the HSE and can be arranged via a family GP, or by contacting a local health centre. No charge is levied for a hearing test at a public health centre, public hospital or local health office, which can test a baby’s or child’s hearing.
During a hearing test on a baby or infant, specialist sonar equipment is used to measure their hearing as accurately as possible.
Sound consists of vibrations of air in the form of waves and is measured in decibels (dB). Typical hearing is considered to be in the range of 0 to 20 dB.Find Out More about Hearing Loss