At least 22 states now require hearing tests for newborn babies, but Iowa is -not- among them. Experts in the audiology field say it’s an issue state legislators should consider, as hearing loss is the single most common disorder in newborns.Teresa Linde-Fendrich is chief audiologist at Iowa Lutheran Hospital & Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. She says when a hearing problem goes undetected in a child, it can result in serious developmental problems. Linde-Fendrich says the hearing screening on babies is quick and easy.Although there is no law requiring it, Linde-Fendrich says her two hospitals and many others in Iowa are now doing the screening voluntarily. While some Iowans remember wearing headphones & raising their hands upon hearing tones, that type of test won’t work for newborns. She says the test for infants is much more sophisticated.Last year, more than three-thousand infants had their hearing tested at the two central Iowa hospitals. Six infants were identified as having a significant hearing loss.
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