Children with hearing loss in both ears had improved vocabulary skills if they met all of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention guidelines, a small cross-sectional study found.
Those children with bilateral hearing loss who met all three components of the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention guidelines (hearing screening by 1 month, diagnosis of hearing loss by 3 months and intervention by 6 months) had significantly higher vocabulary quotients, reported Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, PhD, of the University of Colorado Boulder, writing in Pediatrics.
The authors added that recent research reported better language outcomes for children born in areas of the country during years where universal newborn hearing screening programs were implemented, and that these children also experienced long-term benefits in reading ability.
The authors said that studies in the U.S. also reported better language outcomes for children whose hearing loss was identified early, who received hearing aids earlier or who began intervention services earlier. But those studies were limited in geographic scope or contained outdated definitions of "early" hearing loss.
"To date, no studies have reported vocabulary or other language outcomes of children meeting all three components of the [Early Hearing Detection and Intervention] guidelines," they wrote.